John McKenna’s view on the amusement tax

April 5, 1916
The football authorities when interviewed had not had sufficient time to study the effect of the tax upon football, but with one accord they expressed the view that there will be little change in the numbers appearing at football grounds.

Mr. John McKenna, English Football President stated that the English Football League meets on Friday next at Manchester to consider this and other important matters. He added: –

“While it is early to prophesy, we can forecast without fear that the effect will be very, very small. Football followers number millions, and they would have had a keen feeling against any one amusement being taxed, but in view of the fact that all the amusements are taxed, they will not grumble.”

Asked whether the clubs will pay, the president said –
“The clubs cannot. Few make profit, and the smaller clubs with poor revenues are the people likely to be hit by the new tax. The clubs must charge spectators. So long as football is not made the exception there will be no grumbling. The sportsman is a patriot, and, realising that the war has to be paid for and has to be won, the football enthusiast will support the increased charges.”
(Source: Liverpool Echo: April 5, 1916)