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Broken Dreams ; by Tom Bower; Simon & Schuster; £17.99 hardback

A brilliant read if you've got the stomach for it. Like the Celtic players' bonus dispute on the eve of the Zagreb Champions League qualifier it forces issues facing the game in general and some very unpleasant characters within it in particular, right up your hooter.

Basically it follows the activities of those who are really making a few quid out of the game, namely managers, chairmen and agents, and while most of the cast are hovering around the English Premiership there's still a few a bit closer to home who rate a mention. The Ridsdale/ O'Neill story which appears fleetingly in the book was highlighted in the Scottish tabloids last year and the hacks were able to fill up a few column inches with it. But there are plenty more juicy titbits in this book which might be interesting if somebody were to follow them up. Alas, since most of them involve Rangers maybe that, as Martin O'Neill might say, is a bit forlorn.

While he never directly accuses either David Murray or Walter Smith of any wrongdoing, what is abundantly clear is that Rangers have been dealing in the transfer market with some appalling people, among them Dennis Roach, described as a friend of both and an active participant in several of Rangers' transfer moves.

It might also be worth asking another major Rangers player, Joe Lewis, what Bower means when he says: 'There is no passion here', said Levy (Lewis' partner in ENIC) admitting that neither he nor Lewis was particularly keen on football.'

Even though it leaves you feeling nauseous, this is great stuff.

MARMADUKE BAGLEHOLE

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