June 10, 1942
Maximum entertainment with the minimum of travel. That is the aim of the Football League for season 1942-43, which begins on August 29, the scheme for which reached the clubs today.
The Home Office has expressed the Government’s desire to interfere as little as possible with the playing and staging of football matches, and have agreed that some measure of travel is essential. The Home Office agrees that an attempt has been made in the proposals to reduce travelling to a minimum, but they would, however, require to consult the Ministry of Transport before giving their full approval.
Mr. Fred Howarth, secretary of the League points out these facts to me in forwarding the League scheme for the new season – a scheme which I am confident will meet with the wholehearted support and approval of the clubs.
I note that no provision has been made for Bournemouth, Bristol City, Southampton, Brighton, Stockport, Norwich, West Bromwich, Cardiff City or Swansea Town, and that New Brighton are not included.
Dr Tom Martlew, chairman of the Rakers, however, said today that New Brighton had not been asked to play, but that they will carry on unless something unforeseen occurs.
The League scheme states that the Management Committee is fully aware that certain clubs are not catered for, but it is not practicable to incorporate these clubs in the League competitions.
These clubs are, however, given permission to join any competition with non-league clubs in their area, and the League is prepared to propose that such competition should become, during the season, a part of the League competition.
In the present circumstances and with travelling cut to the bone, I think Mr. Howarth has evolved a grand scheme embracing five groups with league and cup competitions. This is the scheme: –
A League championship beginning on Saturday, August 29, and ending on December 26, to be run in five regions – London, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Midland and North Eastern. A combined League and Cup competition will begin on January 2. This will be played first as a qualifying competition, the first 32 clubs on merit qualifying to take part in the knock-out competition. This will again be in regional form modelled on the successful plan of 1941-42.
Here are the five regions: –
London Region: Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Brentford, Charlton Athletic, West Ham, Watford, Clapton Orient, Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, Reading, Crystal Palace, Millwall, Aldershot, Luton Town (and probably Portsmouth).
Lancashire Region: Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Southport, Preston North End, Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Blackburn Rovers, Oldham Athletic, Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers, Chester, Wrexham, and Crewe Alexandra (with probably New Brighton).
Yorkshire Region: Huddersfield Town, Leeds United, Bradford, Bradford City, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Barnsley, Halifax Town, Rotherham United, Doncaster Rovers, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City, Chesterfield.
Midland Region: Birmingham, Derby County, Leicester City, Mansfield Town, Nottingham Forest, Stoke City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Northampton Town (and probably West Bromwich).
North-East Region: Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepools United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Sunderland.
The clubs are asked to consider these proposals before the annual meeting when the scheme will be formally proposed. Clubs must notify the League by July 7 of their intentions to play or not, so that fixtures can be made.
(Evening Express: June 10, 1942)