Some caustic comments re football


September 30, 1915
Whether it is through early rising or another cause I cannot say, but somehow my sting is up a bit to-day. I have been tired out by having to deny a number of things that should not need denying.

For instance in Liverpool people have not yet got into the football rulings and believe that “these mercenary pros.” are still receiving wages.

When the critics who take no care to study their case before slandering the men who are centred in it are told that only bare expenses are paid they raise their eyebrows, and say: “No, surely not! I can’t imagine them playing for the love of the game.”

Imagination in such minds is top heavy and biased, and therefore is not understandable. A lot of arrant nonsense is talked through football failing to tell the public of its working, but its mode of working this season would not need to be largely advertised if the critics of the game are to be considered.

Fortunately the game is giving pleasure and is the best recreative sport the world can have.

There is no doubt that a lot of trouble is born through the writings of those who know not the position and know not the game.

Here’s a paper comes along to tell us that Harold G. Bache is now throwing bombs. This is the young West Bromwich Albion footballer of the Corinthian style. Yet with the paragraph we find the photograph of Joe Bache, the Villa man.

Talking of the Midlands, it can here be stated that many grumbles are going the rounds of Brum owing to the closing down of the Villa, Albion, Wolves, and Birmingham clubs. It is said that the clubs regret their folly – which some people termed “Pessimism rather than Patriotism.”

They are not alone, these Midland clubs, for did not the far North clubs – Sunderland, Newcastle, and Middlesbrough – close down?

Aye, and did not Middlesbrough, after crying, dramatically, “This is no time for football,” actually vote for payment of a pound a week?

Further, did not Middlesbrough complain when they found that League matches had been arranged and they had not been included in any one circle?

Now comes a suggestion that, as there is no first-class League football in the North of England, Scottish League officials should approach Sunderland, Newcastle United, and Carlisle United, with a view of joining the Scottish League, in order to raise the League to twenty-four clubs, by including Dumfermline Athletic. There is time yet for this arrangement to be carried out this season.

I wonder how Middlesbrough will receive the deputation.

That there is a call for League football is undoubted. Friendly matches are always interesting if players are earnest, but much of the success of the game this season will be founded upon the interest the League chart makes, even though it doesn’t matter a little bit whether sides win or lose so long as the game is clean and keen and sporting.

Apparently the great clamourer against the game has come to think that it is not wise to be anti-football any longer. At any rate, there is an amazing apologetic column in its issue this morning, to which cutting MacZ., our contributor, adds this cutting remark, “Reports are apparently coming.”

The turn-round of the paper concerned is in keeping with our expectations. They sought to kill the game, the players, and directors, and produced fancy pictures of final ties.

They failed ignominiously, and now, apparently, they find the game’s hold is such that it is policy to climb down. They do it by means of an articles headed – “Rational Football Sport for Munition Workers.”

It makes one tired and tired to have such vaulting by supposed leaders. I fear me that we shall soon have the paper offering a huge prize for forecasting the correct football results!

They must try on something to gather their football friends back again.

Racing men turned down the “Mail” and associate papers when they began their screed against the turf, and it is up to to everyone with any football interest to boycott the papers that tried to rob the public of reasonable recreation.
(Liverpool Echo: September 30, 1915)

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