Soccer and Organized Crime
McClelland & Stewart 2000
Today we are talking to Declan Hill about his new book The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime (McClelland & Stewart, 2010). Most of my research focuses on corruption and the link with organized crime. I have read commissions of inquiry, court cases, journal articles and innumerable books on the topic. But none of them exposes such a widespread and pervasive system of corruption as Declan discusses in this book. I also come from a family of bookmakers, so I understand the gambling industry, but I was overwhelmed by the amounts of money involved in the corruption of gambling on sport. After reading this book I felt severely depressed that all our work is in vain. All of these are reasons why this is an important book. Declan is clear in pointing out that the beauty and majesty of great sporting achievements are still real but that one has to have an eye out for the Fix and be aware that corruption of sport at all levels is not just possible but common. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying organized crime, corruption or even the nature of sport in modern society. One of the aspects I found particularly interesting was Declan’s explanations of how corruption operates and the relative ease with which new participants are indoctrinated into the illicit practice. This is an extremely well written book partly because it is not an academic tome. Declan is telling a yarn about corruption and the individuals who participate in it, while still giving a thorough examination of the issue.