On Monday I was compelled to contribute on Goodreads after finishing Whatever It Takes by Bonita Mersiades : “This book had me absolutely riveted. It is much more recent and relevant than I expected. The first half takes the reader on a journey through the crazy world of the FIFA World Cup bidding process from the eyes of the author. There is so much in there, big names of football, scandalous behaviour and many many ‘characters’ involved, so many in fact that the wrap up of the ‘cast’ at the end was very welcome. Truly eye-opening. In some ways you can be forgiven for imagining a James Bond movie with Roger Moore talking in suggestive tones and avoiding mentioning the real subject during numerous international meetings at high profile hotels.
There are some bonus photos in the middle that are so well placed to bring the characters to life and compare reality to what is now in your head after reading the first half. The second half is the aftermath and it is so detailed and frank. The author writes with so much precision and surprisingly little anger at her treatment. The parallels to everyday professional life and office politics are striking. The language is clever, the layout as effectively diary entries is even cleverer. There are some repeating phrases throughout which are probably not intentional but the reader will remember them and associate them with this book.
I could not put this bloody book down. It consumed me for a week. It compelled me to look up aspects of Australia’s World Cup bid that I had not known. I watched the bid video and the final presentation video and realised that I had never seen them all the way through.
If you haven’t read this and Australia’s World Cup bid failure interests you, you should. Hopefully the change yearned for by the author can be seen in the future and this book acknowledged for helping alter the history of football.”