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DEAL: Inside the World of a Super-Agent
Bibliophile price: £1.00
"An ownership group in Odessa had approached Italian agent Roberto De Fanti - who had until January of that year been Director of Football at Sunderland - to express an interest in buying Sheffield Wednesday. Roberto had become a respected acquaintance of ours through previous dealings and we had strong links to Wednesday's then owner Milan Mandaric through my friend and associate Peter Storrie. Milan and Peter worked together at Portsmouth. The final implosion of that club and a separate court case, in which both stood trial on two counts of tax evasion, meant their futures in the game were uncertain until their acquittals in 2012." Jon Smith was a pivotal figure in the vanguard which created sport as we know it today. His company First Artist became the UK's leading sports and entertainment agency representing some of football's biggest players including Maradona and the England team, before playing a key role in the foundation and growth of the Premier League. Jon established himself as football's king maker after negotiating a series of deals which broke the British transfer record. In his book he reveals just how the industry functions in the shadow of football's celebrity, from the intricate negotiations needed to move a player from club to club, to the white-knuckle ride that is "deadline day". It is also a personal story of overcoming great odds, and near bankruptcy, to become one of the shrewdest agents of our time. It is a book that changes the way we understand the clandestine nature of the modern game. 340pp in paperback, eight pages of colour photos.

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