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

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  309 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The inside story of how Liverpool FC came within hours of being repossessed by the banks after the shambolic 44-month reign of American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett
Thisis a tale of debts, lies, cowboys, anda civil war that dragged Britain's most successful football club to its knees, through the High Court, and almost into administration. Players Steven Gerrar
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 5th 2012 by Quercus Publishing (first published April 21st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 445)
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Maitrey
Jul 11, 2013 Maitrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic, sport
Made an excellent and quick read. Reade made a convincing case of how two greedy American businessmen tried to squeeze a venerable sporting institution for every last penny in the hope of making a tidy profit (while at the same time, they had staked almost nothing).

Reade recounts everything from the brief honeymoon period between the new American owners: Tom Hicks and George Gillet and Liverpool FC (which they had purchased thanks to financing from RBS); to how things started getting ugly after
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Ajay
Aug 28, 2013 Ajay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just done with this. And add to it Parry coming out of his closet just today. If not for a few good things that fell into place, Liverpool football club would have been history. Can't help but be thankful to Rafa for being a dick towards them, and FSG.

Reade's passion is the same as what he showed in the other '44' book. And gives you a sort of Layman's explanation to how such huge businesses work and what will go wrong, and what did go wrong in this case.

Great read for a neutral. Terrible to g
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Duncan
Sep 23, 2012 Duncan rated it liked it
Shelves: not-shelved
An interesting story written by a local journalist. The plot is rather laboured and not enough weight is given to the US businessmen's point of view.
Julie Villar
The information was fascinating, the writing was engaging but it just seemed like it tried to hard to be the voice of the lad next to you in the pub.
Adam Stone
Jul 15, 2012 Adam Stone rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An Epic Swindle, or to give its full and unexpurgated title An Epic Swindle: 44 Months with a Pair of Cowboys is a book written by Daily Mirror columnist and lifelong Liverpool fan Brian Reade (the author of another superb book about LFC 44 Years with the Same Bird).

It tells the story that any Liverpool fan worth their salt are very much aware of about the 44 month tenure of Messer’s Hicks and Gillette and a lot more else besides. It delves into the business practices of both men and the kind o
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Catherine
Jan 23, 2012 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I started reading this waaaaay back in the summer of last year. It took me ages because I was only dipping into it now and then. I'm not brilliant at reading non-fiction, so. But I just finished with a bit of a gallop today and wow... what an ending to the book that was! I seriously felt myself catapulted back to October 2010 and was reliving all the court drama all over again, but this time with a front row seat.

Brian Reade really captured all the key moments with some really brilliant, ima
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Rohan Kallicharan
May 06, 2011 Rohan Kallicharan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
Brian Reade stands apart from so many of his contemporaries who have worked in the tabloid press. The word that I am looking for is simple: HONESTY.

Whenever I think of him, I always think of Istanbul and that wonderful European Cup Final of 2005. I make no apologies for calling it the European Cup for that is what it is! He appeared in a documentary called 'One Night In May', one which became one of Sky Sports' most successful non-live productions.

He spoke then of his feelings at Half-Time, of t
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Terry Clague
Oct 11, 2011 Terry Clague rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brian Reade is a journalist with the Daily Mirror and I remember enjoying his columns back when I used to read that paper in the smoking room at Safeways (not that I smoked, but that's where everyone sat). I have a vague memory that he wrote a few colums which annoyed me to the extent that I stopped paying him any attention but after rediscovering him via @ourcraig on twitter I thought I should finally check out his take on Liverpool's ownership saga. I'm glad I did.

This book didn't really teach
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Mark
Nov 04, 2015 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent enough read, although it does play up to the Scouse "woe is me", permanently aggrieved mentality.

A thoroughly-researched examination of Gillet and Hicks' takeover of Liverpool, why it failed so badly and the effect it had on the club, its fans and staff.

Could have been improved with fewer examples of tabloidese language sneaking in (almost forgivable as Reade is a tabloid sports reporter in his day job) and by continuing on for another year to show how things changed under NESV.
Kahn
Aug 04, 2011 Kahn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The troubled tenure of George and Tom is given the Brian Reade treatment - complete with interviews with the key playes (both named and unnamed).
On the one hand, there is insight which hadn't been made public before - and not all of it to do with the Americans. The work of the fan groups and the details of the legal battle are particularly good to read.
On the downside, the book does feel a little rushed - not surprising given how quickly it has been published since the new Americans replaced the
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Trevor
Jul 14, 2011 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book for Liverpool supporters and for those interested in the growing trends of leveraged buyouts in football in general.

Brian Reade writes an in-depth account of what went on at Liverpool football club between 2007 and 2011 under the reign of Tom Hicks and George Gillette. Taking in the stories of a number of actors ranging between the SOS campaigners to the Dubai Investment Capital consortium, the book is hugely compelling due to a combination of great story telling and the real drama
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Joanne
Apr 02, 2015 Joanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a MUST-read for anyone wanting to know the truth of Hicks' and Gillett's reign of terror. It also debunks a lot of crap over Benitez's time in charge as no one, not even Bill Shankly, could have operated properly in those circumstances. Finally, the story of the SOS is really heart-warming and makes you realise how special it is to support this club, with or without the silverware.
Astrid Amelia
Apr 30, 2013 Astrid Amelia rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
As a newbie long-distance fan who has very little knowledge and interest of finance, I'm very thankful for Mr Reade who explained our club's saga in common words. Love the inside stories on the lads of SOS as well...I was very moved with the way the supporters come together to save the club. Along with the immense anger and hatred for the cowboys. I knew it was a bad time but now this book pointed out how bad it was.
I'm also very relieved because I have more understanding on our hero's, Rafa Ben
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Greenockian
Sep 25, 2013 Greenockian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't waste your money or your time on this. It's written in a style that is the worst of modern British journalism. You could sum up the whole book as follows:
1. Hicks and Gillett were not very nice men;
2. They scammed Liverpool and each other;
3. The Liverpool Board and fans were gullible;
4. Steven Gerrard et al sat back and let it happen;
5. Hindsight is a wonderful gift.

There you go - 12.99 saved to spend on a book that may tell you something you don't already know!
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Colm Mccrory
May 25, 2014 Colm Mccrory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best football book I've read.
Read it three times.
Claire Greaney
Sep 19, 2014 Claire Greaney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Every Liverpool supporter should read this book.
Supermanfriday
Jul 24, 2011 Supermanfriday rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for any Liverpool fan who was lost in the wilderness before the life saving take-over.Explains the pros and cons (well ,the cons and cons)of Messers Hicks and Gillett.Nice written funny in parts and described laymanlike.Trust me worth an insight..
Leon Panayides
Jul 20, 2013 Leon Panayides rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Currently finishing this off after much hype and it doesn't let you down. The only downside is the occasional use of childish language but it does paint a picture of a LFC fan and his passion to bring the story to life.
ida
It was an interesting read which unearthed what utter asshats Hicks and Gillette really were. I can't believe those clowns were allowed to go anywhere near our club.
Andrew
Nov 19, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
You read the odd story in the paper. and see a news report now again but it was scary reading this as to how close those 2 clowns came to destroying my Liverpool.
Michael
Jun 07, 2011 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport
A fine book and essential reading for any liverpool fan on the chaos and lies that was the Gillette and hicks era.
Chris Morgan
Apr 06, 2012 Chris Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very very good & interesting read.
Would recommend for anyone interested in the situation at LFC at the time.
Paul
Apr 30, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports-football
A very good book on the events surrounding Liverpool FC. Very well researched and also very detailed.
Lee Perry
Superb book, informative and enjoyable in equal measure, a must read for all Liverpool fans.
Ayush
Aug 27, 2013 Ayush rated it really liked it
Great insight on how a group of fans would go on to overthrow multi millionaires from power.
Simon Moore
Jul 23, 2011 Simon Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great insight into how the two cowboys almost managed to ruin an institution.
William Henry
Sep 17, 2014 William Henry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good explanation of the G&H affair.
Matt Adkins
Matt Adkins rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2016
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Corin
Corin rated it it was amazing
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