Book review – Taking Our Ball Back: English football’s culture wars by Martin Cloake

English Football Culture!

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BY JIM KEOGHAN

In an age in which most football writing is obsessed with the big clubs, leading players and transfer madness, it’s encouraging to find a writer like Martin Cloake, someone that ploughs a different furrow.

His work in publications such as The New Statesman, The Football Pink and In Bed With Maradona, takes a wider view of our national game, asking searching questions about the path it has taken in recent decades, the changing relationship between clubs and the fans and the corrosive impact that money is having on football.

Cloake’s new book, Taking Our Ball Back: English Football’s Culture Wars, is a compilation of this work, along with some new material. Grouped in six themes, covering, Tradition, Business, Dissent, Organisation, Law and Love, these articles explore much of what bothers many fans about our modern game.

What is most impressive about Cloake is his willingness to tackle…

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