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Aston Villa and the almighty dollar


December 30, 1893
Aston Villa have evidently a strong belief in the power of the “almighty dollar.” At all events, they seldom refuse to throw it about when they believe it can assist them in the accomplishment of any end they may have in view.

They are not content with the prospect of securing the League championship, but hey wish also to secure another turn of the English Cup, and, in order the better to secure that end, they have promised – so it is said – to divide £200 between the players.

The stimulus is a substantial one, but whether it will help to ensure the end in view is another question of baiting the hook on special occasions.

There are certainly two sides to the bonus-for-winning question.

It has recently been given forth to the world that a Lancashire team which is winning matches at present has received a substantial bonus for its Christmas display.

It is all very well to reward merit, but clubs would do well to consider seriously whether or not to the amount of wages already paid to footballers is not quite sufficient for any services they render.

At the recent League meeting, when the question of wages was considered, the answer of the chairman, that he passing of the £140 resolution would prohibit bonuses, had much to do with the defeat of the committee’s proposals.

There are few clubs in the League which do not pay the men extra for victory, and when one sees a statement to the effect that a team “played vigorously” and so-and-so was “injured quite accidentally” the question at once crops up what bonus were the “vigours” men receiving for a win.

There can be no gainsaying the fact that he game is considerably rougher than it was a few seasons ago, and this is unquestionably due to the prices put on a victory.

G. Herbert’s saying, “Who plays for more than he can lose with pleasure stakes his hear,” is quite true.

Bonus on results ought to be prohibited by the League, and if the game is to retain its favour with the public this and few other matters will have to be dealt with.

Here is the daily routine of the Aston Villa players:
* Each morning at ten o’clock the whole of the men are required to appear at the office to sign an attendance book.

* They are then placed in charge of the trainer, and have to do what is required.

* They are not kept playing football or running all day. That would soon get them fit – for the infirmary.

But it means that the trainer is responsible for them, and knows what they are doing from week’s end to week’s end. He is practically their keeper, and they are his – well, we will leave our free and enlightened readers to say.
(Lancashire Evening Post: December 30, 1893)

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