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Be Careful What You Wish For By Simon Jordan

Release date: 17th June, 2012
Publisher: Yellow Jersey

List Price: 18.99
Our Price: 11.77
You Save: 7.22 (38%)
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Book publishing is an uncertain business and the risks associated with it multiply enormously when a publication's subject matter has been covered from every conceivable angle.

So the omens were less than propitious when Simon Jordan's 400-page Be Careful What You Wish For crashed onto your reviewer's desk, a picture of the sullen author staring menacingly from the cover, dutifully holding a deflated football. Was this a metaphor for the crazy football industry, Jordan himself or the book's content?

However, you should never, ever, judge a book by its cover, nor harbour any preconceived ideas about what you're about to read.

Against all the odds, this is one of the very best football books you will ever read.

Simon Jordan is the archetypal self-made man. Business-wise, he found himself in the right place at the right time, took advantage of Britain's burgeoning love of mobile phones, worked damned hard and trousered a small fortune. Good luck to him. But he doesn't dwell on his success as within 60-odd pages, he's sold his business and bought Crystal Palace.

Throughout, he is entertainingly indiscreet. About managers, football club chairmen, players, ex-players, football authorities and especially those on the game's periphery who make enormous sums of money from it.

Sure, he reminds readers that he has a few bob, but rarely in a big-headed manner that causes us to turn against him. He is completely honest about occasionally flying by the seat of his pants or misjudging the likely outcome of a business venture.

Jordan's story moves along at a cracking pace, reaching breakneck speed in the book's final quarter.

A missed penalty at Bristol City marked the beginning of the end for Simon Jordan's involvement at Selhurst Park. Once the impact of a brewing financial crisis was added, matters began unravelling much faster than he would have wished, or perhaps expected. Right up until the last possible moment, however, Jordan believed he had a chance of saving Palace.

Whereas he had once enjoyed a large slice of business luck, it deserted him when he most needed it. That does not detract from an absolutely compelling tale, though if the book has a fault, it's that it could have done with the wholesale removal of Jordan's exclamation marks. His compelling story is dramatic enough without them.


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