Review of An Epic Swindle: 44 Months with a Pair of Cowboys

An Epic Swindle: 44 Months with a Pair of Cowboys
Brian Reade
September 1, 2011, Quercus
£12.99, paperback

Brian Reade is a columnist for the Daily Mirror, but we will not hold that against him because more importantly, he has been a Red for over 40 years. His ability to gather behind the scenes information used to write this book should be commended. Reade writes with an entertaining style and his passion as a fan is boldly strewn across each page.

The book begins with the press conference at Anfield that announced Tom Hicks and George Gillet as the new owners and chronicles their dark journey until finally being ousted. Reade does a great job documenting every lie, broken promise, and foolish thing done by all parties involved. After reading insider views, you might change your opinion about some. Your beliefs might also be strengthened. I found both occurring as I read.

I started blogging on another site around the time that fans were realizing that Hicks and Gillette were not the owners everyone had hoped for and were in fact the spawn of Satan. I probably should not say that, Satan might be insulted. Having been writing about the club since that time, I have read as much news as I could get my hands on and this book still delivers a ton of information of which I was unaware. Most of that knowledge is a result of stories gathered from sources within the Anfield hierarchy, some named, some not. Interesting tidbits are abundant such as a message from Rio Ferdinand telling Jamie Carragher that the Glazers were scared to death of DIC and hoped that Liverpool would be sold to Hicks & Gillett.

The real star of this book is the Kop Faithful. I knew that Spirit of Shankly and Internet e-mail campaigns had been instrumental in ousting the former owners, but I never knew how much of an impact Kopites around the world really had until reading this. All of those supporters, many who were once labeled as Internet terrorists by you know who, should be proud of the part they played.

When I write a review, I try not to only focus on the positives, but also what let me down as a reader. Honestly, I could not find anything wrong with this book. Reade deserves every bit of praise that has been heaped on him. This is a must read for those curious about the biggest stain on Liverpool FC’s history. Looking back on that time, I prefer to not think of the muppets who were pretending to own the club, but rather the strength and unity shown by fans who perservered through the turmoil known as the reign of Hicks & Gillet. As Reade says, “The Yanks are dead. Long live the Yanks.”

Amazon has this title for almost half price and you can save another 5 pence if you buy it for Kindle. Ha!

-CSD