Since the release of The Billionaires Club I have been working with Tifo, a new website that does amazing illustrated YouTube videos that tell stories about football. One series of videos we worked on was “Meet The Owners”: Stories from The Billionaires Club that lift the lid on who these mysterious owners are, how they got their money and what they want with your football club.
There are seven in total, covering Manchester City, Arsenal, West Ham United, Southampton and many more.
It has been an intense few months, travelling to a dozen different countries gathering material for my next book. So far it has taken from The Netherlands to the US, France, the UK, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and, most interestingly, Bangladesh.
It is a cricket mad country, but I was interested in the huge number of migrant workers who leave the country to build the megastructures in the Middle East. Whilst I was there though, I managed to squeeze in some football, the 2016 KFC Independence Cup. It was a pre-season tournament of sorts. And who did I bump into? No less than Rohan Ricketts, the former Spurs and Arsenal player now famous for his globe trotting antics.
In the same episode I also reported from Paris. This time, it was to interview Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister of Thailand. Most people in the UK also know him for being the owner of Manchester City for one season, during which he was deposed in a coup and had all his assets frozen.
Finally, I also visited the south coast of England to see Portsmouth FC. In 2008 they finished in the top half of the Premier League and had just won the FA Cup. But a series of disastrous owners (one of whom they are still not sure actually exist) left the club on the brink of extinction.