Fit and Proper?: Conflicts and Conscience in an English Football Club (BOK)
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This is the story of a football club that, in the 1990s, harboured the UK's biggest white-collar fraudster. This same club was almost bought by someone who couldn't decide whether to be a man or a woman. It also had as chairman a man subject to an international arrest warrant, then another chairman who remains to this day a fugitive from the law, who in turn was succeeded by a man with connections to Libyan arms dealers. To this ensemble make space for the Gurkha Regiment, Interpol, the 'Rat Pack', the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic, protein-rich algae, a collection of classic motor vehicles, 29,000 piles of dog excrement, a huge Indian city and a tiny Scottish village. Based on years of research by its two authors, Fit and Proper? details the history of the boardroom of Sheffield United Football Club, focusing particularly on the foibles of the men who over three decades from 1980 tried, and largely failed, to turn the 'Blades' into a profitable business and a successful club. Instead, the city that gave the game to the world is home to a club that has now become the footballing arm of an international property development company. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.