July 7, 1915
The Management Committee of the Football League has issued the following circular letter to the clubs of the League: –
“We are confident that it would be unfair and disastrous to seek to continue the usual League competition, for the following reason:
1. Many professional players have enlisted.
2. Many more are engaged on munition work, and their work must not be interfered with.
3. Some clubs have been so largely depleted that a competition providing for promotion and relegation would be grossly unjust, and would produce the greatest hardship to those who have made the greatest sacrifice, and would favour the club whose players have failed to realise their higher duty to the nation.
4. Long railway and overnight journeys are impossible.
5. The financial strain of last season makes it is impossible to attempt anything so disastrous as League football.
It is unthinkable that the game should be played to the hindrance of recruiting or the interference with work. We have therefore given careful consideration to the form in which football may be played so as to prove helpful in bringing the war to a speedier conclusion and without further taxing the finances of the clubs. There is a limit to physical and mental strain; and football has proved a great mental relief, and in recommending the regrouping of the 40 League clubs in three geographical sections we think the game would answer helpful and useful purposes. – Yours faithfully, for the Management Committee.
John McKenna, President.
Tom Charnley, Secretary.”
The re-arranged competitions will be under special rules, of which the following are the chief: –
A list of retained players and players open to be transferred shall be forwarded to the secretary on or before July 26, 1915.
All persons taking part in the competition can only be played under such terms and conditions as shall be approved by the F.A.
All the clubs take part in the competition shall, if they so desire, remain members of the Football League, and the clubs shall revert to membership of the same division as they occupied to the institution of these rules.
It is proposed to continue neutral linesmen, but the fees or referees and linesmen are considerably reduced.
(Liverpool Echo: July 7, 1915)