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The Hard Yards

A Season in the Championship, England's Toughest League

About The Book

'A great, authentic read that serves as a timely reminder that there is "super" to be found in every league' Colin Murray 

Gus Poyet declared it to be the toughest league in England. Neil Warnock believes it to be the tightest division in Europe. Norwich boss Daniel Farke went further still: 'The Championship, without any doubt, is the toughest league in the world.'
 
The second tier of English football has a well-deserved reputation as the most exciting league in football. Anything can happen, and often does.

In The Hard Yards, Nige Tassell - author of the modern classic The Bottom Corner - tells the Championship's hidden stories, taking the reader on an entertaining and eye-opening tour of the 2020-21 season, one like no other. From Bournemouth up to Middlesbrough, Swansea across to Norwich, and all points in between, he interviews players, managers, chairmen, backroom staff, fans and broadcasters to reveal exactly what life is like one step below the Premier League bubble.

The groundsman in charge of keeping the pitch in shape, the TV reporter covering several matches every week, the veteran player who lives and breathes the league, the long-suffering supporter - they all have tales about what makes this tier so hard, so gripping, so unpredictable. 

The Championship is a league brimming with heart and soul, where the divide between triumph and despair, Premier League ecstasy and lower-league agony, couldn't be any narrower. With stakes this high, drama is guaranteed. 

'With this enlightening book, Nige Tassell absolutely nails the brilliant and the drama of the Championship. A screamer into the top corner!' Chris Sutton

'The F. Scott Fitzgerald of football writing' Ian McMillan  
 

About The Author

Nige Tassell writes about sport and popular culture. His work has appeared in The GuardianThe Sunday TimesGQEsquireFourFourTwoThe Blizzard and When Saturday Comes among others, and his previous books include non-league football classic The Bottom CornerThree Weeks, Eight Seconds, Boot SaleButch Wilkins and the Sundance Kid and And It's a Beautiful Day. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (August 19, 2021)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398504462

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Raves and Reviews

'There's a brilliant story on every page. Remarkable insight.'

– Adrian Chiles

‘A fascinating testimony to a ruthless league’ 

– FourFourTwo

'Brilliant' 

– Choice Magazine

‘A great, authentic read that serves as a timely reminder that there is “super” to be found in every league’ 

– Colin Murray

‘The F. Scott Fitzgerald of football writing’

– Ian McMillan

‘With this enlightening book, Nige Tassell absolutely nails the brilliance and the drama of the Championship. A screamer into the top corner!’

– Chris Sutton

‘Hugely readable, with a mass of engaging anecdote’

– When Saturday Comes

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