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Eleven Men Against Eleven (1995)

| Drama, Sport | TV Movie
About a Premiere football club facing crisis, with a chairman terrified that lucrative financial deals and perks will be discovered by the tax inspector investigating the club's affairs, ... See full summary »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ted Whitehead
...
Dean West
John Brobbey ...
Leo Walcott
Paul Clarkson ...
David Biggs
...
Gary Roebuck
Ged Simmons ...
Tommy Smith
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Sir Bob Luckton
...
Cliff Tutley
...
Jake Leach
...
Lee Cornes ...
Journalist
Martin Gent ...
1st Journalist
David Roper ...
Frank Jardine
...
Ron Griffiths
Anastasia Hille ...
Sylvia Tench
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Storyline

About a Premiere football club facing crisis, with a chairman terrified that lucrative financial deals and perks will be discovered by the tax inspector investigating the club's affairs, and players who are either accepting "bungs" or taking drugs. Ex-player and upholder of traditional values Ted Whitehead is brought in as caretaker manager, who sees his players gradually whittled down through arrest or bad behavior. At the crucial match which could decide on relegation he has to play a team of inexperienced youngsters and is put into a moral quandary when he realizes that the club chairman has fixed the match by bribing the referee and the opposing team's goalkeeper.

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bribery | corruption | soccer | See All (3) »

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Drama | Sport

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sir Bob Luckton: I've told the press you have complete control over team selection.
Ted Whitehead: Great!
Sir Bob Luckton: You haven't of course, I'm just sick of being portrayed as a megalomaniac.
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Connections

Featured in Comedy Connections: Drop the Dead Donkey (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sharply observed satire on the negative effect of money in English soccer
30 May 2001 | by (Plymouth, England) – See all my reviews

Made in 1995, when corruption scandals were leaking from every orifice of English soccer, this sharp satire from the pen of Andy "Drop The Dead Donkey" Hamilton is very much a product of its time.

"Eleven Men Against Eleven" centres around a fictional English Premier League club (referred to throughout only as "City") which is in deep financial trouble and fighting a seemingly fruitless battle against relegation. When it emerges that the club manager (Peter Howitt) has been involved in dodgy transfer deals, he is promptly sacked and replaced with the club's youth team coach Ted Whitehead (James Bolam), a former City player who is an innocent throwback to the golden days of football, before money contaminated the game.

Unfortuntely, Ted's attempts to motivate the team with his old-fashioned brand of management are undermined by the activities of the club owner, Sir Bob Luckton (Timothy West) and seedy footballers' agent Jake Leach (Kevin McNally), as well as the escalating scandals befalling the club, which include match-fixing and drug-taking. Things threaten to boil over when tenacious tax inspector Sylvia Tench (Anastasia Hille) turns up and systematically begins clearing out the remaining skeletons in the Sir Bob's cupboard.

This film is a microcosm for the endless scandals that smeared English soccer in the mid-1990s, all compacted into one unfortunate club. Everything that can go wrong, does go wrong: drugs, match-fixing, corruption, in-fighting amongst the players, everything.

Non-soccer fans might not enjoy this a whole lot, but to anyone with an interest in the game, it is a must, being sharply observed (unlike "When Saturday Comes"), well acted (unlike "Escape To Victory") and brilliantly written (unlike every other soccer film that has come before it). Even the in-game sequences are authentically choreographed.

A definite soccer fan's film.


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