July 19, 1915
Important decisions, putting a ban on professional football next season, were come to at the meeting of the ruling football authorities yesterday.
At the meeting of the of the Football League in London, Mr. J. McKenna, the president, occupied the chair, and every club was represented.
The Chairman asked the meeting that in all the discussions the country should be put first and football second.
The Chairman formally moved that in the interests of the country for the present the League competition be suspended until such time as it is thought desirable to reinstate it. This was agreed to without discussion.
Mr. Rinder (Aston Villa) moved that no match be played under the auspices of the Football League during the war, but that the League clubs be allowed to play what matches they desired. The resolution was lost on being put to the vote.
Mr. Sutcliffe suggested the following motion: –
“That the Management Committee seek to arrange a competition which may include clubs in membership with the League and other clubs in the locality, so that there may be football played throughout the country. Any club that likes may decline to participate in the same.”
This resolution was carried.
The Management Committee asked for a vote on the question of payment of wages to players, so that the League’s views might be put before the F.A. at the conference. A vote was taken, with this result: –
For payment to players: 21.
It was decided to ask the FA to drop the English Cup competition for next season.
League and next season’s arrangement
During an adjournment the Football Association passed resolution at their council meeting which, with regard to the payment of players, had the effect of causing a resolution passed earlier in the day at the League meeting to be deleted.
Mr. Sutcliffe then formally moved the following, which was carried: –
This annual meeting having decided to suspend the usual League competitions for the season 1915-16, the Management Committee proposes:
1. That all rules and portions of rules as are inappropriate, inopportune, or inconsistent with football to be played during the coming season shall be suspended.
2. A list of retained players and players open to be transferred shall be forwarded by each club to the secretary on or before the 26th day of July, 1915, and such lists shall be regarded and recognised as the operative lists of clubs respectively until the completion of the next regular League competition.
3. All players on the retained and transfer lists of any club shall be entitled, without transfer, to play for any recognised club, except in a League competition, outside England, whether in membership with the League or not, and shall revert to the ordinary rules governing the League competition, when the players shall automatically revert to the club holding the League registration, but no player can change his old club except as a matter of convenience of work or residence.
4. Players taking part in football games in which League clubs participate can only play under such terms and conditions as shall be subject to the rules, regulations, and resolutions of the Football Association for the time being in force and operation.
5. League transfer can still be effected under the rules of the League.
6. In all games in which League clubs shall take part the fee payable to a referee shall not exceed 10s. 6. And third-class railway fares.
7. No inter-League matches shall be played during the continuance of the present European war.
8. That clubs having extended arrangements with players can make no further payments to such players until the Football Association shall again arrange the registration of professional players.
Mr. Sutcliffe went on to point out that if a group of clubs, such as the five League clubs and the six Southern League clubs in London arranged a competition among themselves they would all be under the control for the time being of the Football League.
It was announced that Aston Villa, Birmingham, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and West Bromwich Albion had definitely decided to play no competition matches of any description. If they played at all the matches would be friendly games with the proceeds devoted to charity or war funds.
Two competition groups
Subsequent to that it was announced that two groups of clubs had already been formed for playing competition matches among themselves.
Group 1. – Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Bradford, Bradford City, Notts County, Notts Forest, Derby County, Leeds, Leeds City, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City, Leicester Fosse.
Group 2. – Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Bury, Burnley, Stockport County, Oldham Athletic, Blackpool, Preston North End, with two or three others.
Subsequently the Football Association met the League and the Southern League representatives in conference, and afterwards the Football Association Council arrived at the following decisions: –
1. That no international matches or the Challenge Cup and Amateur Cup of this association can be played during the next season.
2. That associations, leagues, and clubs be allowed to arrange matches without cups, medals, or other rewards to suit local conditions, providing they do not interfere with the work of those engaged in war work.
3. That matches be played only on Saturday afternoons and on early closing and recognised holidays.
4. That no remuneration shall be paid to players, nor shall there be any registration of players, but clubs and players shall be subject to the rules and conditions applicable to them on April 30, 1915.
5. Agreements with players for service after April 30, 1915, shall be suspended until further notice.
6. Clubs may join any combination of clubs which may be convenient to them.
Mr. J.C. Clegg was re-elected chairman, and Mr. C. Crump vice-chairman, whilst Mr. Ord was re-elected representative of Division 2.
The election of the Standing Committees was referred to the officers to appoint.
(Liverpool Daily Post: July 20, 1915)