Numbering of players


June 5, 1939
The biggest surprise of the annual meeting of the Football League, in London to-day, was the adoption of a motion making the numbering of players compulsory in League matches. The President of the League (Mr. W.C. Cuff) himself put forward the proposal, which was carried by 24 votes to 20.

The Football League, by adopting the proposal, have fallen into line with the Football Association, who number players in international matches and in the later rounds of the Cup competition.

On the proposal of Mr. William John Harrop, the Liverpool chairman, Mr. W.C. Cuff was elected President of the Football League in succession to Mr. C.E. Sutcliffe. The vote was unanimous.

The two bottom club in each section of the Third Division were re-elected.

They were Accrington Stanley and Hartlepools United (Northern Section), and Bristol Rovers and Walsall (Southern Section).

The “four up and four down” proposal of Derby County was lost by 21 votes 28.

The Management Committee of the League, through Mr. Cuff, advised the clubs of the First and Second Division to vote against the motion.

A decision on gland treatment was postponed. The Management Committee had not yet received a report from the British Medical Association on the matter, said Mr. Cuff, and nothing would be done about a notice to players until late in the close season.

Several alterations to regulations of the League were passed. These included the abolition of compensation in FA Cup ties, if both clubs due to meet in a League match was engaged in the Cup competition.

Another alteration means that clubs no longer will have to pay a small percentage to the League of their receipts in Cup games.

In future, new linesmen added to the list will have to be under 35 years of age. Hitherto the age limit was 40. This will eventually lead to younger referees.

The President announced that the War Office had promised to keep in mind a suggestion from the League that young professional players, when called up, should do their training in the close season. Payment of wages to such players while training in the Army was a “domestic matter for the clubs themselves.”
(Gloucestershire Echo, 05-06-1939)

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