James Montague is an award-winning journalist and the author of four books.

When Friday Comes: Football, War and Revolution in the Middle East (deCoubertin) follows the game in every country in the region — before, during and after the Arab Spring — examining where football, politics and religion intersect. It was first released in 2008 by Mainstream and won Best New Writer at the British Sports Book of the Year awards. It was heavily revised and re-released in 2013 by deCoubertin.

2 Gaza 2009 Referees take a moment before match
Officials before the Gaza Cup Final. Gaza City, Gaza, September 2009.

Thirty One Nil: On the Road With Football’s Outsiders (Bloomsbury) was released in May 2014, and a month later in the US. Thirty One Nil charts the qualification campaign for the World Cup finals in Brazil, through the eyes of the minnows and underdogs unlikely to make it there. The book is named after American Samoa’s record 31-0 defeat to Australia in 2001.

Thirty One Nil won Best Football Book at the 2015 British Sports Book of the Year Awards.

A ticket fro Rwanda v Eritrea
A Rwanda supporter before a 2014 World Cup qualification match against Eritrea. Kigali, Rwanda, November 2011.

The Billionaires Club: The Unstoppable Rise of Football’s Super-Rich Owners (Bloomsbury) was released in the UK August 2017, and in the US in October the same year. The Billionaires Club tells the story of how the super-rich have invested their wealth and political capital into football. It is a part history of club ownership, part in-depth investigation into the money and influence that connects the super-rich around the globe, and part travel book that crosses national boundaries in an attempt to reveal the real force behind modern-day football. The book has also been translated and published in Japan, Turkey and Poland.

The Billionaires Club won Best Football Book at the 2018 British Sports Book of the Year Awards. 

Supporters celebrate a goal during the Workers Cup in Doha. Qatar, May 2016.

1312: Among the Ultras, A Journey With the World’s Most Extreme Fans (Ebury) will be released in March 2020. 1312 is a global history of the ultras movement, from its birth in Italy (and roots in South America) to its eventual spread to almost every corner of the world. It is a truly global youth sub-culture that is highly organised, anti-authoritarian and deeply political. 1312 tells the story of how the movement began and how it grew to become the global phenomenon that now dominates the stadiums from the Balkans and Buenos Aires. With unprecedented insider access, the book investigates how ultras have grown into a fiercely political movement, embracing extremes on both the left and right; fighting against the commercialisation of football and society – and against the attempts to control them by the authorities, who both covet and fear their power.

Kosovo Gjilani ultra copy
An ultra from FK Gjilani during the derby against rivals Drita. Gjilan, Kosovo, October 2016.

James Montague has reported from over 80 countries and unrecognised republics. He has written for the New York Times, CNN, the Bleacher Report, World Soccer, The Guardian, The Blizzard and Delayed Gratification, among others. As well as being a two-time winner of Football Book of the Year at the British Sports Book awards, he was also a two-time finalist at the Foreign Press Association and One World Media Awards. He is represented by Rebecca Winfield at David Luxton Associates.

James Montague Amazon Authhor picture© Vladimir Živojinović