August 2, 1945
United States soccer clubs, realising that large numbers of American Service men, who previously took no interest in the game back home, have acquired a taste for it during their sojourn here, are taking steps to foster that interest while it’s still warm.
It is appropriate that Liverpool F.C., who along with Everton, have been missionaries throughout the war in endeavouring to popularise Soccer among our Allies – both have acted as hosts to large parties at every home games for three seasons past – should be one of the clubs interested.
Just how far it will go it is too early to say now, but Mr. William McConnell, Liverpool’s chairman, who at the present moment is in America on a Government food mission, has been approached with tentative proposals for a visit by the Anfield club. Obviously nothing can be done until next spring at the earliest, but this move shows the trend of American feeling towards the British game.
Hitherto the United States hasn’t taken very enthusiastically to it, and the backbone of support has come from British folk who have made their home over yonder. After the war, things may be much different. Many of the Americans who have been regular attenders at Anfield, Goodison, and elsewhere have been really badly bitten by the Soccer “bug”. They will welcome our sides over there.
I understand that “feelers” have also been put out to other British clubs, including Glasgow Rangers, while New York opinions is that teams from the Continental countries should also be approached. Air travel simplifies the problem compared with pre-war days and I think we can reasonably anticipate the possibility of several British sides visiting America fairly regularly in the comparatively near future.
Continental tours, of course, are also much in the air, and altogether the prospect of Soccer spreading on a world-wide basis seems very near. Pre-war requests from abroad for the visit of leading British sides were becoming so numerous that he FA had to assume a measure of control. The post-war demand is likely to be such that they may have to set up a special committee to supervise it. Chief thing to be watched is that only clubs likely to enhance British prestige should be permitted to accept engagements, and that these should send out fully representative teams.
We have had enough “knocks” in the past in various sporting avenues. We don’t want to imperil our reputation for pre-eminence at football to be jeopardised by clubs who seek only the financial rewards and care nothing for the maintenance of our good name.
Mr. McConnell is not likely to be back home for some time yet. When he does he will put before his board a full report of the talks he has had.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: August 2, 1945)