Monday, March 22, 2021

The Great Football Conspiracy

Book Review: The Great Football Conspiracy

The Great Football Conspiracy
The Great Football Conspiracy

The Great Football Conspiracy by Jonathan Last is a light-hearted football novel inspired by the Da Vinci Code.

It begins suitably enough with the founding of football in a masonic-style ceremony in the Freemasons' Tavern in 1863.

Forward to the present day and ex-coach Frank Tuttle stumbles upon a legend about the Halves - two big secrets of football, and a hidden group called the Custodians who guard them. By completing the quest, aka the Campaign, to find them, one may truly understand the sport and more importantly derail an imminent corporate takeover of the F.A. which will destroy football as we know it.

The new order sounds chilling and not a million miles from reality: 90% corporate seating, ad breaks during games as in American sports, three kits per season and no relegation for the big sides for starters.

Sadly some fans are on board with the changes, as one explains:

"Bigger clubs get more worldwide support...It's inevitable they will get richer and richer and eventually suck in all the idiots who support the crap teams. Then all the loser clubs will go bankrupt and finally, it'll be only the big boys left. That's what I'm looking forward to and I can't wait."

Along with his mates and a disgruntled F.A., employee, Tuttle careers around London, stopping off at the Emirates, Craven Cottage, and other sacred soccer sites in search of the truth, hoping to spike the guns of the deadly new plan for football.

Unlike many self-published scribes, Last can actually write fluently and peppers his tale with an obvious footballing knowledge:

"The earliest I can remember is Man United dominating everything, so naturally I liked them. But then Arsenal had their 'Invincibles' side, so I switched to them. But I got sick of waiting for them to win the league again, so I moved to Chelsea. But then Man City came onto the scene in a big way, and of course, you've got Liverpool now, so-"

A proofreader would have picked up on 'Mollineux', 'Acre Lane' instead of Long Acre, and it could also have done with more football jokes and being at least 50 pages shorter.

But all in all, it is a fun and refreshing read and welcome addition to the meagre genre of comedy football books - Dominic Holland's The Ripple Effect springs to mind, when it is a subject ripe for humour, as films like Eleven Men Against Eleven, Mike Bassett England Manager, Rudo y Cursi and Shaolin Soccer have shown.

Buy The Great Football Conspiracy from Amazon USA | UK | Japan

© Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

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