Each year the Football Writers’ Association selects the winner of the football category in the British Sports Book Awards. This year’s award – for 2012 – will be revealed at a dinner at Lord’s on Tuesday, May 21. Glenn Moore, chairman of the FWA’s books sub-committee, runs through the short-list (in alphabetical order).
Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World by Graham Hunter (Back Page Press, £9.99)
An illuminating, comprehensive, behind-the-scenes account of the creation of the all-conquering team. The management, the players, and key matches along the way are each studied and placed into context.
Be Careful What You Wish For by Simon Jordan (Random House, £18.99)
This could be sub-titled ‘how to make a fortune in business and lose it in football’ and sent to every prospective club owner. Jordan, as ever, pulls no punches as he describes how he built up his mobile telephone company, then plunged into the more complicated world of football as Crystal Palace owner-chairman.
Does Your Rabbi Know You’re Here? The Story of English Football’s Forgotten Tribe by Anthony Clavane (Quercus, £17.99)
Jewish children were once discouraged from becoming involved in football, more by their own community as by attitudes within the game. Plenty took no notice however and British Jewry has made a significant contribution to football in England, as Clavane uncovers.
Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning by Guillem Balague (Orion, £20)
Richly detailed access-all-areas breakdown of how Guardiola came to take over Barcelona, develop the best team in the world, then walk away from it. The man and his methods are fully explored.
Richer Than God: Manchester City, Modern Football and Growing Up by David Conn (Quercus, £16.99)
Part coming-of-age memoir, part dissection of the economics realities of the modern game, all told through the prism of Manchester City’s transformation from badly-run but much-loved laughing stock to the world’s richest club.
The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper by Jonathan Wilson (Orion, £20)
Thoroughly researched account of the singular man between the sticks, from the time when he could run with the ball to the halfway line, to sweeper-keepers and the modern giants. Told via analysis of keepers such as Lev Yashin and Peter Shilton, Fatty Foulke and Rene Higueta.