Becton for sale – but not for Aston Villa

Thursday, November 5 – 1896
Discussions are now taking place in every football resort in the kingdom on the present enormous prices demanded by clubs for the transfer of leading players. The transfer of Frank Becton, of Liverpool, a somewhat capricious and intractable player, is bringing the question of prices much more to the front. Prices altogether beyond any reasonable limits are being mentioned, and one may wonder what the end is going to be. It can scarcely be for the good of the game that prices should be run up as they are being in the case of Becton. Other questions than the mere amount of the transfer fee may enter into the case in point.

If a club has placed one of its players on the transfer list, and thus declares that it does not want him, then it will strike most people that the player ought to have a say as to which club he desires to go. It ought not, other things being considered equal, to be in the power of a club to say that a player will not go to such and such a club on any terms whatever. Liverpool put Becton on the list, and Aston Villa come forwards, and offer the sum required – £250; but because there is an existing dispute between Perry Barr and Anfield, Becton cannot go to the Villa. He declines to go elsewhere, and the matter rests. (Dundee Courier, 05-11-1896)

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