Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Karren Brady singing the Blues
Karren Brady is a bit of a football fiction all-star. Not because she wrote a couple of pieces of lipstick football fiction, she's the chairman of Kerrang! allegedly the world's biggest selling weekly rock magazine, and a non-executive director at Channel 4, Mothercare and Sport England.
Most famously though she is the Managing Director at the EPL's very own Birmingham City FC. When appointed at the ripe old age of 23 she became the youngest Chief Executive in the U.K. Her rise to fame started in advertising before she moved onto brutal tabloid nonsense papers like the Daily Sport - obviously where she refined her flair for a pungently perfumed phrase -and that was before she turned her hand to football clubs and novel writing.
She was arrested recently on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting. It's been reported in uk tabloids that the police are investigating illicit payments made to agents among other things.
Most controversially, despite her marriage to a Luton Town player and her job with the Brummies Football Club, she's a Gooner... apparently. It's scandalous I tell ye.
But keep the naughtiness with the old shares fraud and the paperbag payments in mind for a moment. The run down on the book I've chosen to review this week will help you understand why.
Brady's novels aren’t necessarily what discerning readers would readily call football fiction. But the field is a small one and there's room for everybody. Besides Karren Brady is in the business, and better than most, she knows there can be little difference between a good buy and a bad one.
The story of her first novel United goes something like this… The protagonist, a sexy wee lassie called Sara, has it all. The glam, the lifestyle, the first division footballer... no sorry that's a different story. She does though, Sara has it all and then her bloke buries his slippers, all be it, like everything else in the book, most tragically. Then she takes the helm at a football club she’s inherited, where fantastically, (remember the naughtiness) she discovers a web of corruption that’s running rampant through the club. Its all unashamedly secret and there’s danger at eh, every turn. Every now and then there’s some wanton lovin' to keep you interested.
I have to be honest I couldn't spoil this one even if I wanted to. A month in the sun couldn't spoil it. I can’t even remember what happens at the end. I do remember that any real twists and turns happened on the park, but they were in such very short supply that I'm not even sure it was the same book.
But its the life imitating art's imitation of life angle that adds another dimension. And reminded me of her work's place in the genre.
Karren has written four books all up; a factual account of her first season at Birmingham City, cleverly called Brady plays the Blues particularly so now she's singing them, the two novels, United and Trophy Wives and her latest non-fiction effort Playing to Win is a kind of self-inspired, self-help piece about successful women in business.
They might not be books you’d add to your football fiction collection but they are topical and hey, it’s all part of the wee, and sometimes inglorious, world of football fiction.