And the Sun Shines Now by Adrian Tempany review – a Hillsborough survivor on the modern game

From ‘slum sport’ to domineering cultural force – a brave and deeply personal history of how the disaster has shaped football

In 1985, four years before the Hillsborough disaster, an editorial in the Sunday Times, then as now a pretty reliable guide to the mindset of its proprietor Rupert Murdoch and much of rightwing Britain, described British football as “a slum sport played in slum stadiums, and increasingly watched by slum people who deter decent folk from turning up”.

Last year, Murdoch’s television conglomerate Sky paid £4.18bn to broadcast fewer than half the games from a single English and Welsh football competition, the Premier League, over the next three years. Rights deals with other British and foreign broadcasters covering the same period are estimated to have earned the Premier League as much again – confirming it as, in Adrian Tempany’s both awestruck and aghast words, easily “the world’s most valuable sporting brand”. So money-driven and globalised is the Premier League that even its current, supposedly underdog champions, Leicester City, are owned by a Thai billionaire, as Tempany tellingly points out; and even this newspaper recently printed the clubs’ predicted income from television and prize money alongside their points tallies in the league table.

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