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A top soccer writer celebrates 21 years of the Premier League with a striking, illustrated history of the sport's most popular and prestigious competition

For all the accusations of greed leveled at its well-remunerated players, and the gripe that it is dominated by an elite of wealthy clubs, the Premier League has proved a huge success in athletic and commercial terms since its inaugural season of 1992-3. It has transformed the violent terrace culture of the 1970s and 1980s into sophisticated sporting theater, a 21st century Circus Maximus in which an international cast of soccer gladiators strut their skills before vast crowds in gleaming stadia—and a global audience of billions. Jim White has chosen 10 epic clashes to represent the rise of English soccer's top flight. He evokes the sweat and effort of the matches in thrilling detail, and uses them as a prism through which to view every strand of the premiership's development: he profiles players, managers, and owners; charts the ebb and flow of club fortunes in sports and fiscal terms; and brings to life the turning-points and moments of drama, joy, and despair that have punctuated the first 21 years of global football's most watched league.

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