Seven Dials will publish journalist Phil Hay's account of how "genius" football manager Marcelo Bielsa transformed Leeds United.
Shyam Kumar, assistant editor, acquired world rights to And it was Beautiful: Marcelo Bielsa and the Rebirth of Leeds United, direct from the author.
Hay is a staff writer for the Athletic, covering Leeds United, and has previously worked for the Yorkshire Evening Post as its chief football writer.
In And it was Beautiful, Hay will document the fortunes of Leeds United under Marcelo Bielsa during their return to the Premier League for the 2020/21 season. By weaving in stories of crises from the club's purgatory in the English Football League, he will present a "comprehensive and compelling" portrait of an enigmatic manager whose values are the antithesis of everything that has previously gone wrong at Leeds, says the publisher.
Kumar commented: "Marcelo Bielsa has shaped a gang of Championship misfits and journeymen into a team that plays breathtakingly relentless attacking football and is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the game's heavyweights. For Leeds United supporters starved of Premier League action for 16 years, he is a god. Phil Hay is the voice of Leeds United, the trusted source of breaking club news for his 200,000-plus loyal Twitter followers, and the perfect writer to capture the transformative effect Bielsa has had on the club and culture of Leeds. His intimate affiliation with the club will allow the book to pull back the curtain on Bielsa's innovative tactical methods, his relationship with owner Andrea Radrizzani and director of football Victor Orta, his intensely loyal backroom team and the extraordinary cultural impact Bielsa has had on the city of Leeds: from murals and songs, to cult fanbases in the provinces of Argentina. I’m couldn’t be more proud of this book as my first acquisition for Seven Dials."
Hay said: "When it comes to Marcelo Bielsa, it’s hard to think of a more unique coach in world football, or of many coaches who inspire more fascination than him. Leeds United’s transformation under Bielsa has been astonishing, a huge leap from a long, directionless era to the Championship title and a promising first season back in the Premier League. For those of us fortunate enough to cover his work at close hand, his methods, his style and his ethos has been an education. Regardless of where the club go from here, the Bielsa years will always be a chapter like no other in their history. They will never have another coach quite like him and they will never forget the enlightenment of the past two-and-a-half years. Reporting on this period has been the highlight of my career and it’s a privilege to be asked to write this book."
And it was Beautiful will be published on 26th August 2021.