The Club

Out Now:



Premier League Inc.


The Club is the previously untold inside story of how English soccer’s Premier League became the wildest, richest, most popular sports product on the planet.

This is a sports and business tale of how money, ambition, and 25 years of uncommon drama re-made an ancient institution into a 21st century entertainment empire. No one knew it when their experiment began, but without any particular genius or acumen, the motley cast of billionaires and hucksters behind the modern Premier League struck gold.

Pretty soon, everyone wanted to try their luck, from Russian oligarchs, to Emirati sheikhs, American tycoons, and Asian Tiger titans. Some succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Some lost everything. But the cash they plowed into English soccer lured players, agents and managers from around the world, turning aging industrial cities and obscurely named clubs into the focus of compulsive global attention.

Today, players are sold for tens of millions, clubs are valued in the billions, and games are beamed out to nearly 200 countries, all while the league struggles to preserve its English soul.

Deeply researched and drawing on 100 exclusive interviews including the key decision-makers at every major English team — from aristocrats like Manchester United and Arsenal, to the arrivistes at Chelsea and Manchester City — The Club is the definitive and wildly entertaining narrative of how the Premier League took over the world.

The transformation of the English Premier League, from the muddy pitches, primitive tactics, and unglamorous pub culture of its early days to the coveted, lavish, global colossus we now know and love is a rollicking tale. Robinson and Clegg delight in every detail of that evolution from backwater to behemoth, spinning a narrative that is part Great Expectations, part Game of Thrones, in equal measure.
— Roger Bennett, NBC Sports, Men In Blazers
The Club is a richly detailed, remarkably told story of how the Premier League became the unstoppable force it is today... Joshua and Jonathan provide unparalleled access to the people who make the league go, from the owners to the managers to the stars on the field. The Club is the definitive guide to the definitive league in sports.
— Billy Beane, Executive vp of baseball operations, oakland a's

The Authors

L-R: Jonathan Clegg, Joshua Robinson. Photo by Rob Stothard.

L-R: Jonathan Clegg, Joshua Robinson. Photo by Rob Stothard.

Joshua Robinson is the European sports correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. In addition to the English Premier League, he has covered everything from the NFL to the World Cup to the Tour de France. Robinson’s work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated. A native of the South of France, he was raised in the U.K. and is a graduate of Columbia University. He is based in London with his wife, an award-winning photojournalist.

Jonathan Clegg is a senior editor for The Wall Street Journal. He joined the Journal in 2009 as the paper’s first Europe-based sports reporter, and has since written about every major sport, covering the Super Bowl, the College Football Playoff, the World Cup and the Olympics. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics and lives with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn.


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Take a sneak peek at some of the characters and moments from the book.








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Breanne Sommer

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