United fans await Ferguson verdict on David Moyes in best-selling bio's paperback update

Sir Alex Ferguson can expect to earn himself another sizeable supplement to his pension when the paperback version of his record-breaking autobiography appears in the shops ready for the Christmas market.

The hardback edition was the best selling print book of 2013 with UK outlets, its sales of 803,084 copies in less than 10 weeks beating the Dan Brown novel Inferno.

Sales of 115,000 in the first week on the shelves set another record, for the fastest selling non-fiction book, knocking cook book queen Delia Smith off that particular perch.

Ferguson would have pocketed at least £1 million from last year's sales alone, even assuming he was on no better than the standard royalty arrangement with his publisher.

The former Manchester United manager's personal account of his fall-outs with Roy Keane, David Beckham and other ex-United players provided a major selling point for the book, along with his views on rival managers such as Arsene Wenger.

And there is more in the paperback, which is updated to include his take on United's first year since his retirement and the brief, ill-fated tenure of David Moyes, who succeeded Ferguson at Old Trafford on his own recommendation.

The paperback is due to be published on October 23 with Ferguson due to attend a launch event hosted by publishers Hodder & Stoughton at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane on Sunday, October 26, when he will discuss the highlights of a career which brought him 38 trophies in 26 years at Old Trafford, in the company of actor and lifelong Manchester United supporter, James Nesbitt.

Meanwhile, a biography of Louis van Gaal, the latest United manager, has been published in English by Ebury Press.

Dutch football commentator Maarten Meijer's book reveals that Van Gaal's tactical philosophy places team ahead of players and that his reputation as a fierce disciplinarian is not misplaced, explaining that the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach, who took the Netherlands to third place at the Brazil World Cup this year, has standards for behaviour and attitude that players deviate from at their peril.

Meijer has also written books on Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat and is a writer with broad interests. He has degrees in both science and philosophy and a doctorate in Russian literature, has lived and worked in both New York and Moscow and since 2000, married and with four children, has been based in Korea, where he teaches philosophy.

Buy My Autobiography, by Sir Alex Ferguson from Amazon, Waterstones or WHSmith.

Pre-order the paperback version.

Buy Louis van Gaal: The Autobiography from AmazonWaterstones or WHSmith.



Punk Football: How fans reclaimed football clubs for the people that made them

In a couple of weeks time, FC United of Manchester, the club set up by disillusioned Manchester United fans in the wake of the Glazer family's Old Trafford takeover, will embark on their 10th competitive season. Once famously dismissed as a bunch of 'attention-seekers' by Sir Alex Ferguson, they are poised also to give up their nomadic existence of the past decade and move into their own home.

A £5.7 million 5,000-seat stadium is nearing completion in the New Moston area of Manchester which will bring to an end the days of groundsharing.  Once Broadhurst Park opens its doors this autumn, playing home fixtures at Bury's Gigg Lane and Stalybridge Celtic's Bower Fold will be consigned to history.

Along with AFC Wimbledon, the club formed by supporters disenfranchised when their club moved to Milton Keynes, FC United are the high profile flag bearers of a movement popularly known as 'punk football'.

They are clubs run not by Russian oligarchs or Arab sheikhs, or in Manchester United's case by American sports entrepreneurs who had to load the club with debt to facilitate their takeover, but by the fans for the fans.

Punk football became the moniker for fan ownership not because the people in charge are anarchists with mohican haircuts and safety pins through their noses but because, just as the original punk rock was do-it-yourself music, clubs such as FC United and AFC Wimbledon and several others besides represent DIY football.

It is a concept that has become the subject of an extensively researched and well-written book by freelance writer and blogger Jim Keoghan and recently published by Pitch Publishing.

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In Punk Football: The Rise of Fan Ownership in English Football, Keoghan explores the history of punk football from its birth in the 1990s, when fans of Northampton Town rose up in the face of prospective extinction to form the first supporters' trust, raising money to save the club and taking a place on the Board with the aim of ensuring that its future was built on a democratic and financially prudent platform.

He charts how the Northampton example inspired others to follow suit and how supporters' trusts proliferated over the next decade, with some even taking majority control, as happened at Exeter City, Brentford and York City, before AFC Wimbledon demonstrated that not only could fans band together to save existing clubs, they could actually create new ones.

There are interesting chapters, too, on how the supporters of Swansea City demonstrated that even at Premier League level it is possible for fans to have a major say in the running of their club and on the history of supporter involvement in the running of football clubs in Europe, particularly in Spain and Germany, where punk football has been a phenomenon for much longer.

Yet Keoghan does not gloss over the failures, looking at where the model did not work so well, such as Stockport County, Brentford and York City, and at the sorry story of Notts County, where the supporters' trust formed to salvage the club from one financial disaster in 2002 unwittingly created another when they were duped, along with Sven-Goran Eriksson and others, into falling for the false charms of Munto Finance.

The examples of AFC Wimbledon and FC United of Manchester, though, stand as testimony to what can be achieved.

Romantics among FC United fans wanted their permanent home to be in Newton Heath, the district of Manchester in which the Old Trafford club has its roots.  That dream died when local government funding cuts forced Manchester City Council to withdraw vital support.

But the ground taking shape at New Moston will be a fine addition to the Manchester sporting landscape and an inspiration to everyone who wants to claim back football for the fans and follow the punk football ideal.

Buy Punk Football: The Rise of Fan Ownership in English Football, by Jim Keoghan from Amazon, Waterstones or WHSmith.