July 12, 1915
The English League footballer is in a sorry plight at the moment. I think his position will improve slightly during the next few weeks, but as matters stand football next season is to be played by amateurs and pros, whether Army or Navy or men engaged in munition-making, who are asked to give their service free.
The points raised are important and the pro needs to be considered more than he has been if English justice is to be allowed. The pro realises as well as anyone that sacrifices must be made in these times, and he is not expecting large sums per week. He does expect fair treatment, and if clubs are going to take gates then he expects at least £1 a week.
The class of football served up by the clubs must be of good standard, otherwise the hold they have obtained upon their following will be lost, and I cannot see amateur footballs keeping a hold upon, say, Liverpool or Everton’s large following. There is no call for large payments to players, but on the other hand there must be a semblance of pro-dom in the games played if the game is to be kept up to its proper height of interest.
Clubs are perplexed, and players who have been in the habit of receiving £4 10s a week all the year round are more than perplexed. I cannot see harm in playing Kenneth Campbell, say, in the Liverpool goal. He has joined the Army, is stationed at Seaforth, can get his Saturdays off. That he should be asked to play for nought is not fair. Whether he would play for nought I know not, but I am only taking his case as an example of a big wage-earner being suddenly dropped to nil.
The game would be improved if our local clubs called into life again the old-time players, such as Taylor, K. Balmer, Sharp, and the like – it’s a point worth considering. So far the pros. of the country are simply grumbling, but their grumbles will take definite shape very shortly, and football folk will need to take care how they move.
(Liverpool Echo: July 12, 1915)