The Telegraph Sports Book Awards CLOC Football Book of the Year 2020 Longlist Launch, in Association with the FWA

Posted on March 23, 2020 by Martha Lewis. More news

The most diverse Football longlist to date, as a nostalgia for past glories and greats are pitted against the modern-day managerial master, Pep Guardiola, and an insightful analysis into the growth of Women’s football

  • The 2020 Telegraph Sports Book Awards June winners ceremony to be postponed until September in light of the escalating Coronavirus crisis

Selected by the Football Writers’ Association and now sponsored by CLOC Printing, the Football Book of the Year is one of 10 Sports Book Awards categories. The Directors of the Sports Book Awards have made the regrettable decision to postpone this year’s shortlist and winners events, but are pleased to announce they will take place later in the year, with a September date soon to be confirmed for the annual winners ceremony at Lords Cricket Ground.

Carrie Dunn’s superb deep-dive into the changing face of Women’s Football, The Pride of the Lionesses, looks beyond the headlines, reflecting on growth at grass roots level, as well as that of the professional game. Tobias Jones delves into a facet of Italian footballs subculture, examining the sinister side of footballing fandom in Ultra. Daniel Fieldsend’s Local looks at Liverpudlians uniquely intertwined relationship with both the City of Liverpool and their beloved football club.

Jonathan Wilson’s excellently researched assessment of how Hungarian football in the 1950’s shaped the modern game, The Names Heard Long Ago, is up against Michael Cox’s Zonal Marking, an insightful overview of tactical development in European football over the last three decades. Leo Moynihan’s The Three Kings tracks the life and careers of three of the greatest ever managers, Stein, Shankly & Busby, undoubtedly the central architects of the modern game. The tactical theme continues with Pep’s City, Spanish journalists Pol Ballus & Lu Martins’ behind the scenes profiling of Pep Guardiola’s success at Manchester City. David Tossell’s Natural, makes the longlist with a revealing and comprehensive biography of a past superstar, one England’s most loved footballers, Jimmy Greaves.

Steven Scragg pays homage to the European Cup Winners Cup with Frozen In Time, charting its distinct history through the unique, eccentric stories it created. Amy Raphael’s, A Game of Two Halves, pairs football’s superstars with their celebrity superfans, resulting in plenty of funny conversations and revealing some uplifting commonalities. Completing the shortlist are Stephen O’Donnell’s brutally honest account of the rise and fall of Rangers FC, Tangled Up In Blue, and John Nicholson’s Can We Have Our Football Back?a polemic against the premier league, including a passionate pitch for an alternative future.

The CLOC Football Book of the Year, judged by the Football Writers’ Association is part of The Sports Book of the Year Awards which celebrated its 18th birthday in 2019.

The esteemed Sports Book Awards Judging Academy includes an outstanding group of sports celebrities, broadcasters and journalists, with this years judges including: Miles Jupp, Simon Brotherton, Nick Hoult, Brian Moore, Andrew Cotter, Alison Kervin, Adam Smith, Christine Ohuruogu, Simon Halliday, Sir Tim Rice, Jacquie Beltrao, Louise Minchin & Darren Gough.

David Willis, Chairman of the Sports Book Awards said: ‘We are delighted to be announcing the Football Writers’ Association Book of the Year Longlist and working in partnership with CLOC Printing for the first time, and honoured to continue an excellent relationship with the highly esteemed Football Writers’ Association.’

Philippe Auclair, Chair of the Football Writers Association Books Committee, commented: “One the most striking features of this longlist is the sheer variety of the selected titles, which shows how football writing continues broadening its horizons from year to year. In this regard, this season’s crop is probably the most diverse and the richest in the award’s history, with twelve outstanding books dealing with a huge range of interests – from biography to sociology, tactical analysis to history, polemic and politics to women’s football, to name a few. ”

The winners of the 2020 Sports Book of the Year Awards will be announced at a gala awards dinner to take place at Lord’s Cricket Ground in September, with the exact date to be confirmed shortly.

Alongside CLOC Printing, The Telegraph Sports Book of the Year Awards partners include VAARU Cycles, Pinsent Masons, Sky Sports, Tim Rice’s The Heartaches & The National Literacy Trust. The final short lists for the 2020 Sports Book of the Year Awards will be announced at a reception in Pinsent Masons London Headquarters. As with the main ceremony, we have regrettably decided to postpone the original May date, and will confirm the rescheduling as soon as possible.

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