September 22, 1897
Mr. Peter D. Allan, of Dundee, the best known poacher of Scottish footballers for English clubs, has been interviewed by “Citizen” of “Scottish Sport.”
The agent told his interviewer a good deal concerning his negotiations with English club respecting players. He also relates some amusing incidents, as he describes them, and he places he case of George Allan, the Celtic centre forward, in that category.
“I had seen him play at Perth (said Mr. Allan) and strongly recommended him to Liverpool. Meanwhile he joined Leith Athletic, for whom he was playing when Liverpool folks sent a deputation to see him. Burnley, who had forestalled them by inducing him to sign a League form, were also watching his play. So disappointed were they that in consideration of £2 paid by Liverpool, they tore up his document. Yet this is the man who a year later played for Scotland against England. Unfortunately for Burnley, they had seen Allan at his worst.”
Asked if “business was brisk,” the agent relied, “No, very little doing just now. You see most of the clubs are fixed u, but when the weaknesses in the teams begin to appear, then I expect to be in demand; for, you know, I have always a little list of men at command, though professional rules are very much against mid-season business. But I did very well in the summer, and placed some sterling players.” “As well as some duffers” interrupted the reporter. “No, the English managers are too wide-awake for that now. I have seen the day when anything Scotch would have suited, but times are changed. Englishmen are getting ‘cuter every day, and will have nothing without an established reputation. Besides, it pays best to deal squarely, because then you can look for repeat orders, and it is on these I have now almost exclusively to rely. A sort of customer trade, you know. Another thing I may mention is, that when a player fails to come off I ask no commission; so you see I must give satisfaction.”
(Burnley Express: September 22, 1897)
George Allan (Edinburgh Evening News, 03-04-1897)