In its first 20 years the Premier League has moved football from a state of unprecedented crisis against a backdrop of recession, strikes and hooliganism to a global sport of unimaginable riches. To mark this anniversary Ian Ridley takes stock of a phenomenon that has changed English football and English society forever. Taking in the game at all levels and across the country, There's A Golden Sky is a full picture of the game today with all its glitz and glamour, rags and riches.
From Hackney Marshes, clinging on in the shadow of the Olympic park, to the vastness of Old Trafford; from Doncaster Belles women's team to the rebirth of Cornish football in Truro; through to the modern game's relationship with Sky and the big bucks of Abramovich, Ridley takes us on a journey through the English game from grassroots to the topflight.
Ian Ridley took a long hard look at the game back in the early 1990s when it was beset by problems both on and off the pitch and seen as the epitome of all that was wrong with our society. There's a Golden Sky examines just how far the game has come since those dark days, sucking in players and money from around the globe and providing fame, fortune and hours of pleasure in return.
Examining the changes that have occurred over the last 20 years, Ridley seeks to discover if the soul of the game still exists. Through interviews with larger-than-life characters from around the game managers, referees, administrators, players and fans he has woven together a rich and fascinating story of football's metamorphosis from social outcast to favourite child.
There's a Golden Sky: How Twenty Years of the Premier League Have Changed Football Forever