Liverpool F.C. football ground Anfield

Letters from Mr. John Orrell


February 15, 1892
In the late controversies about the Everton ground question much stress has been laid upon the marked difference in the temperaments of the two landlords. Mr. John Orrell has been represented as the very personification of generosity and kindliness. Mr. Houlding on the other hand, has been held up to public reprobation as a money-grabbing and avaricious landlord. What are the facts?

Mr. Houlding, whose ground is in excellent football condition, is prepared to sell it for 7s 6d a yard. Mr. Orrell`s land would certainly require some expenditure upon it before it was fit for football. What does he demand? The following letter, lately written by Mr. Orrell, speaks for itself: –

“Compton-house, Anfield, Jan 25 `92
Dear Sir, – In answer to your inquiry about the price of my land, Anfield and Walton Breck roads, adjoining what is called the Everton football field at Anfield, my lowest price is 7s 6d per yard, and no less.
– Yours truly, John Orrell.”

Another letter from Mr Orrell also furnishes rather instructive reading: –
Jan 25 `92
“Dear Sir, – In answer to your inquiry about the price of my land adjoining the Everton football field, I told Dr James Baxter and Co, my price was 7s 6d per yard. He said Mr John Houlding would take less. I told him Mr Houlding would do no such thing – that he would take less than what he gave for the land. Then he said if Mr Houlding would take less would I be agreeable to take less. I said ”Yes”. But I know he will not, and I must have no dallying in the matter. It must be genuine.
– Yours truly, John Orrell.”

Are these letters quite in harmony with certain statements made to the Everton Football Club members at their last general meeting?
(Field Sports: February 15, 1892)

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