With the close season upon us, the only thing left for us to think about is whether we would prefer to see West Ham or Palace go up. Connolly in the Premiership or no longer having to visit Selhurst Park, a tricky one. So, we'll all have to start looking for other ways of getting our footie fixes.
Some of us will lurk around the WML in search of snippets of comfort about the new season...and, in truth, if last close season is anything to go by the contents of the list will generally revolve around lofty topics such as Ross Jenkins' favourite breakfast cereal and increasingly more unlikely transfer speculation.
Some, though, might reach for a bit of football reading and if you are looking for some light fiction to help pass a few hours by the pool, or to see you through the charter flight on the way to the Copa de Ibiza, The Ripple Effect may well work for you.
Author Dominic Holland is a regular on the stand up circuit and also turns up on Radio Five Live, this is his second book. He was also the after-dinner speaker at the recent PFA awards, a bum-clenching experience, but he survived it well by all accounts.
This story is set around a struggling lower division team, Middleton Edwardians, who are sliding into financial oblivion. The supporters are fighting, not always cleanly, to try and stop what appears to be the inevitable happening and so the story unfolds.
The Ripple Effect has a decent line up of well-crafted characters - loyal (to the point of insanity) supporters, a bent councillor, dodgy agents and a Premiership prima donna, among others. A work of fiction maybe, but the parallels with reality are only too familiar to those who follow the lower leagues. Holland uses his comic skills to good effect, the characters come alive with the humour Holland has put into them, the book cracks along at a good pace and the story develops well.
We are not talking about a milestone piece of football writing here, just a decent read about a subject close to most of our hearts. Holland deserves a large pat on the back for writing a good story with sound characters, around a football theme, without descending into the "Roy of the Rovers" stuff that is often the standard fodder of football fiction. There are a few Ronaldo moments, but the story needs to tell those tales.
As a further plus, Graham Taylor has given the book his seal of approval and that can be no bad thing. You will also find on the same site the first few chapters of the book in pdf format. Have a read, I bet you will buy the book.