13th February 2012
He compares the past of English football – the English football league was founded in 1888, with the first member teams all from the Midlands and the North of England, then the manufacturing powerhouse of the world. His thesis is the UK's decline along with the fortunes of those original teams.
He says: "For a football fan, what's striking about the original dozen clubs – Accrington Stanley, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Derby County, Everton, Notts County, Preston North End, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers – is that not one of them would be counted as a member of today's elite. Three are midtable in the Premier League, four are battling against relegation and five are plying their trade in the lower divisions.