The Football League to adopt Arsenal F.C.’s amendment

May 7, 1945
Football officials from all over the country, many with famous players of the past, now managers, to advise them, met at Manchester today to make post-war plans.

An early surprise was the carrying of Arsenal’s amendment that, in the transitional period, First and Second Division clubs shall be combined into north and south division, and that the Third Divisions operate as in normal times.

Thus professional football in England and Wales will run in four regional groups next season. The 44 clubs in the peace-time first and second divisions will play in north and south division, and the two sections of the third division, north and south, will resume on pre-war lines, without right of promotion.

The groupings will be:
North – Everton, Middlesbrough, Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End, Grimsby, Liverpool, Leeds United, Manchester United, Blackpool, Sunderland, Huddersfield, Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City, Chesterfield, Burnley, Newcastle United, Bradford, Bury, Barnsley.

South – Wolverhampton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Arsenal, Derby County, Aston Villa, Brentford, Chelsea, Portsmouth, Birmingham City, Leicester City, Coventry City, Luton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Fulham, Millwall, Plymouth Argyle, Southampton, Swansea, Nottingham Forest, Newport County.

Division III North – Barrow, Lincoln City, Bradford City, Darlington, Carlisle United, Hartlepools United, Chester, Hull City, Crewe Alexandra, Gateshead, Doncaster Rovers, York City, Halifax, Accrington Stanley, New Brighton, Stockport County, Oldham Athletic, Rotherham United, Rochdale, Southport, Wrexham, Tranmere Rovers.

Division III  South – Aldershot, BristolCity, Brighton and Hove Albion, Port Vale, Bristol Rovers, Reading, Clapton Orient, Ipswich, Exeter City, Torquay United, Mansfield Town, Crystal Palace, Northampton, Swindon, Norwich City, Cardiff City, Notts County, Bournemouth, Queens Park Rangers, Watford, Southend United, Walsall.

The clubs had tabled numerous counter proposals to those of the League’s Post-war Planning Committee dealing with normal times. An innovation was the use of microphones for speakers from the body of the hall.

The president, Mr. W.C. Cuff, wore headphones to help his hearing.

Mr. G. Allison, in proposing the Arsenal amendment, said it would add the spice of variety to League football. Mr. W. Camkin (Birmingham) stressed the difficulties of travel if the pre-war divisions were to be run during the transitional period. The president gave his opinion that the apprehensions about travelling might not be realised, and that the Ministry of Transport would do what they could to help the game.

Arsenal F.C. manager, Mr. George Allison.

Several stirring pleas for widened promotion and relegation were made when Luton moved their “four up and down” amendment. Mr. H. Mansley, a Third Division representative appealed to the “aristocrats” of the League to give the proposal consideration.

On a show of hands, 18 voted in favour of “four up and down.” No audible dissent came from the many who voted against it, but the amendment was declared lost, as a three fourth majority was required of the particular rule.

The amendment that each member of the Third Division Executive Committee, seven in each division, be given voting powers. Another, by Tottenham Hotspur, that associate members should have their voting powers increased from four to twelve was lost.

No change of headquarters.
Southampton’s resolution that the League’s offices be moved from Preston to London was lost.

The threat to the good relation between the League and the FA disappeared when Luton withdrew their proposal that the League should run its own Cup in preference to the Association Cup.

The League decided to ask the FA to explore the question of home and away cup-ties from the third to the sixth round of the competition proper.

With a courteous tribute to salaried club officials, Mr. Cuff announced that the post-war committee had decided to withdraw opposition to such officials representing their clubs at annual and general meetings.

Third Division split
A number of Third Division clubs, particularly in the south, threaten to break away from the League following today’s decision against them. They are arranging a special meeting.

The transfer situation remains as pre-war, and on the proposition of Bolton Wanderers the whole matter of players’ wages, agreements and benefits was deferred until more facts are known regarding employment regulations.

If the FA accept a proposal carried by the meeting that one half of the FA’s share of cup final and international match receipts be allocated to the League, the professional clubs will see their organisation richer by something like £10,000 a year after the war.
(Nottingham Evening Post: May 7, 1945)


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