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State of Play
State of Play

State of Play

Under the Skin of the Modern Game


400 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $17.95 (US $17.95)

Publication Date: June 2019

ISBN 9781784756123

Rights: US

Random House UK (Jun 2019)

Price: $17.95


The award-winning author of The Nowhere Men,Living on the Volcano and No Hunger in Paradise returns with his magnum opus on the state of modern soccer

First he revealed the extraordinary lives of soccer scouts in The Nowhere Men. Next he unearthed the pressures on the managers in Living on the Volcano. Then he chronicled the hardships of young players striving to make it in No Hunger in Paradise. Now, in what marks the pinnacle of a career investigating the human stories of soccer, Michael Calvin turns his eye to the biggest story of all—the game itself. From mental health to money, concussion to Champions league, fan-owners to oligarchs, women's teams to world cups, Calvin gets under the skin of the beautiful game, and reveals why it is truly the game of our lives. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with leading figures around the world, from Arsene Wenger to Steven Gerrard, Calvin reveals the winners, the losers, the politics, the pleasure, the hope, and the despair of the world's most popular sport.


"Praise for No Hunger In Paradise: Another landmark work from Mike Calvin, who has taken us beyond the surface of football to show its true workings. Ground-breaking reportage with a heart and a conscience. A service to the game" - Paul Hayward - Telegraph

"Praise for Living on the Volcano: An eye-raising insight into the realities of life in the dugout" - - The Times, Books of the Year

"Praise for The Nowhere Men: A magnificent book, full of extraordinary characters and beautifully told" - - Guardian

Author Biography

Michael Calvin, one of the UK's most accomplished sportswriters, has worked in more than 80 countries, covering every major sporting event, including seven summer Olympic Games and six World Cup finals. His book The Nowhere Men won the Times Sports Book of the Year prize in 2014. He became the first author to receive the award in successive years, when Proud was named Sports Book of the Year in 2015. In the same year Living On The Volcano, was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize. No Nonsense was nominated for the award in 2016.