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Current book status:
seeking literary agent in the UK
expected publication: mid-2020
Former Chelsea manager and Sunderland FA Cup hero Ian Porterfield has worked in many corners of the world, but his latest assignment – to salvage a plummeting football club in South Korea’s K League – is the most difficult yet. Porterfield has an ambitious plan: to import a trio of players from British football, including Jamie Cureton, a former Premier League striker and England youth international who rebuffed Sir Alex Ferguson’s offer to join the “class of ‘92” at Manchester United; Andy Cooke, a former Stoke City and Burnley forward who began his professional life building cowsheds in Wales; and Norwegian defender Jon Olav Hjelde, recently at Nottingham Forest but most heralded for commanding the backline when European minnows Rosenborg won away to AC Milan and drew against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League.
But can the players cope with Korea’s unfamiliar culture and language? Can the Brits focus on football as they battle personal demons, including car crashes, divorces and alcoholism? Can Porterfield overcome professional challenges, such as a miniscule budget and conspiratorial club officials? And does a British football revolution really have a chance of succeeding in Northeast Asia?
Who Ate All the Squid? also takes a humorous and irreverent look at the world’s game inside South Korea, indulging everything wonderful and weird: goalkeepers wearing top hats, football supporters stealing military flares, rampant match fixing, clubs owned by the Korean CIA and a formerly-imprisoned cult leader, a furious Chinese mob, explosive beverages, silkworm pupae as a half-time snack, chickens on the pitch, dogs injuring players, a mayor proudly known as “Mr. Toilet,” and cup finals played on remote islands during weekday afternoons.