Tag Archive | "kinnaird"

Tags: , , , , , , ,

11 Key Moments in Football History

Posted on 03 August 2010 by JamesHamilton

The National Football Museum is putting together its Eleven Key Moments in Football History for their new location and is interested to hear yours. Here are mine:

  1. 1864-8: Quintin Hogg, assisted by right-hand man Lord Kinnaird (who’d go on to be President of the Football Association and create the tradition of a royal presence at FA Cup Finals) take boys from their Ragged School near the Strand out into the country to play football (and cricket) on day trips. It’s a very early instance of the use of football as an educational, life-shaping game for everyone. Churches, factories and mines up and down the UK will adopt the idea, and many of our most famous clubs will emerge as a consequence. Hogg goes on to pioneer football as part of the curriculum in secondary education at his Regent Street Polytechnic.
  2. 1883: Northern working class football overtakes the amateur game with Blackburn Olympic’s FA Cup win over Old Etonians (for whom an ageing Lord Kinnaird stars). In truth, northern teams had probably been better for a couple of years by then. But the sheer expense of travel, coupled with disadvantages in height and weight owing to diet, served to conceal the change.
  3. 1885: Professionalism gets the go-ahead from the FA, with especial support from Lord Kinnaird and Major Marindin. Within a decade, this will have the effect of all but closing off the international game (and the top of the domestic game)to amateur players of all backgrounds. A series of financial scandals between 1890 and 1914 will confirm the fears of professionalism’s opponents, but football avoids the splits endured by rugby and the bizarre master-and-servant compromises of cricket.
  4. 1892: Goodison Park becomes the world’s first really substantial football stadium. Nothing like the Old Lady had been built since the days of the Roman Empire. It triggers a stadium-building “arms race” which culminates in Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge. No club – with the sole and partial exception of Leeds United – that failed to get its stadium up and running before 1914 will ever win a Football League Championship, and the biggest pre-1914 clubs still dominate the club game.
  5. 1901: the introduction of the Maximum Wage stabilizes the Football League financially. But players, some of whom have already become amongst the most famous entertainers in the land, will no longer be able to parlay their talent and work into a middle class standard of living. In 1927, Dixie Dean (Everton, 60 goals) meets Babe Ruth (New York Yankees, 60 home runs) and puts a brave face on the millions amassed by his US rival.
  6. 1919: with the creation of Division 3 (North) one season after the Southern League is rolled up into Division 3 (South), the Football League assumes its current size. It was then, and is now, the biggest and most stable professional football league in the world. But the impoverished, poorly-supported clubs of Division 3 (North) never match the title-and-cup-winning achievements of the Division 3 (South) entrants and remain the Football League’s Cinderella clubs to this day.
  7. 1925: Herbert Chapman and Charlie Buchan respond to the change in the offside rule by inventing the WM formation. It’s the start of modern English football management as we know it. And WM is the last real British football innovation. After this, the British game will cherrypick European and South American ideas but remain an intensely conservative thing of itself.
  8. 1928: Uruguay retain the Olympic football title. The South Americans are the first national team from outside the UK with a good prime facie case for being the world’s best. The 1924 and 1928 Olympic football competitions are bigger than any of the pre-War World Cups – and Uruguay would win the first of those in 1930 anyway.
  9. 1956: Manchester United become the first English side to enter the European Cup, following Scotland’s Hibs who’d entered the year before. The European Cup will grow to become one of the most important tournaments in the world, outstripping the World Cup itself for money and weight of talent – if not, as yet, for glamour. It’ll be another eleven seasons before first Celtic, and then Busby’s final United side, lift the trophy, reflecting just how much the footballing initiative has gone beyond Britain. British clubs will achieve much success in Europe over time, without ever producing evidence that British football has truly caught up with the modern game.
  10. 1989: the publication of the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough Disaster begins a process that will transform the country’s obselete stadia into the greatest concentration of safe, attractive modern grounds in the world. With a bit of assistance along the way from Sky Television and Paul Gascoigne, the Taylor Report will change the game’s image in England forever.
  11. 1995: the Bosman ruling finishes the job that George Eastham and Jimmy Hill started. The unfair and archaic class-ridden restraints of trade that prevented footballers from gaining market value from their talent are gone. Although there is now near-consensus that things have swung too far in players’ favour, with pay demands destabilizing famous old football clubs, there is none about how to restore the balance.

Needless to say, I could have written 100 – but eleven is the key. Put yours in the comments, and also send them to @footballmuseum on Twitter.

Comments (21)

Tags: , , , , ,

Arthur Kinnaird and the Future of Football: 1918

Posted on 02 September 2009 by JamesHamilton

Alfred Kinnaird

Arthur Kinnaird

The Field, that cozy, unselfish country gentleman’s magazine, bore the travails of 1918 well. Most of its sports reporting – and it covered association football with a generous spirit – was about dead and wounded friends, and now influenza had come in to interrupt what little real sport was still going on. Its correspondents kept a brave face from Front and hospital. War’s end caught the Field by surprise. It greeted it with relief and unsentimental sorrow.

The main non-country sports it followed – association football, rugby union, northern union rugby, cricket, tennis and golf – reacted to peace within days. Cricket’s thinkers celebrated daylight saving time and proposed an earlier start and later finish to the day’s play. Rugby union men had played with northern union men in the war and didn’t want to split off again – could an amnesty be offered to the professionals?

In the Field, the future was debated week-by-week through November. The spirit across the sports was open, optimistic: time to make a fresh start.

Not so football. The Field‘s report of a meeting of FA luminaries held on 12th November 1918 and published in their last issue of the month (the Field was a weekly back then) is shocking. If this is anything to go by, the FA planned for nothing less than the deliberate, systematic wrecking of the professional game, a coup that would win round ball dominance back for the amateurs, the Universities and the Public School Men.

Of the names present, only Arthur Kinnaird, FA President since 1890, could claim any deeper reason for wanting any such thing. He was an old man by 1918, with not long left to live. But in his youth he’d ignored his inherited wealth and all it offered to teach in ragged schools in the East End of typhoid, cholera, tuberculosis, hunger and poverty. He’d founded the London Polytechnic. He backed and funded an endless stream of organisations that fought directly against the worst sides to Victorian urban life. Football was at the heart of his work – he saw it as the tool his father (Lord Shaftesbury’s right-hand man) hadn’t had. Instead of empty speeches and moralising, sport. Instead of urging, pointlessly,  continence and abstinence, here, Kinnaird saw, was a fantastic pastime that led automatically on to all of those things, and threw in life purpose, teamwork, leadership and courage to boot. Everywhere he went, he started teams. He’d even turn out for his London Polytechnic from time to time.

And bit by bit, as the Victorian era wore on, he lost his wonderful sport to northern brewers, factory owners, gambling syndicates, the financial corruption and partizanship of the growing professional game. He’d had to deal with crowd riots, drug scandals, religious sectarianism and the chicanery of football chairmen. He might have felt, late in life, that the Great War had given one last chance for association football to fulfil its early promise.

His colleagues Clegg and Wreford-Brown, on the other hand, were simply roaring snobs who cared nothing for urban people. Clegg had always hated and opposed professionalism – and drinking, and smoking: how he must have enjoyed match days. Wreford-Brown had already founded and seen fall the Amateur Football Association in pre-War days. Steve Bloomer remembered him as England’s amateur playing captain, refusing to acknowledge his team mates on the train and then taking a gold sovereign out from inside his shorts to press upon each professional goalscorer as the game progressed.

Here are their bullet-points. Remember, this is 1918: FA Cup Finals have already attracted crowds of 120,000. Old Trafford and Goodison Park and Stamford Bridge loom high over their neighbourhoods. Billy Meredith is a national star in his mid-40s.

  • Players are to work a trade or occupation during the week near to their club, to which their ties are assumed to be permanent barring good reason
  • Leagues are to be regionalised – no more national Football League. This is allegedly to increase “local interest” but it would also have served to undermine the Football League as an alternative power to the FA.
  • County Associations are to take charge of all of the football in their area.
  • Transfers between clubs that are made for tactical playing reasons are to be outlawed. High transfer fees and wages are to end.

It’s not just that this is a scorched earth policy targetting the professional game and everything that had changed since Kinnaird’s last FA Cup Final in 1883. It’s the tone. Try this paragraph for size:

This (the resumption of professionalism post-War) bears on the subject of work because, to render Mr. Clegg’s proposal easy of fulfilment, it is essential that the man should play for a club with headquarters near his employment. This would assist to arouse the local spirit, so valuable in all sport, and help to spread the popularity of the game. It must be remembered in this connection that the FA rules encourage clubs to retain players. Transfers for the express purpose of winning matches to gain points so as to avoid relegation to the second division of the League are forbidden; in fact, there must be good reason for a man leaving his club. It is not easy for a player to shift about. Each competition has its own rules governing players, and these might be more stringent by forbidding a man to assist more than one club in the same league in one season. Encouragement of long agreements between players and clubs would hinder migration and promote a wish for regular employment throughout the week like other folk.

"The professional must be prevented from getting back to the old habit of loafing"

"The professional must be prevented from getting back to the old habit of loafing"

A scheme for district leagues, on the lines of the preliminary competition for the FA Cup would help in the same direction, and, beyond doubt, the increase of local interest would prove beneficial for all concerned. To do away with the huge transfer fees and to induce the players to utilise the bulk of their time properly are the great objects in view; both may be achieved by helping men to continue to work as they have done during the war. The professional must be prevented from getting back to the old habit of loafing. It cannot be necessary to devote the whole week to preparation for an hour and a half on the football field.

It’s that use of the words “man” and “men” – you can feel the degrading stress being put upon it, as though a separate, lesser species is being discussed. That’s Herbert Chapman they’re talking about there – and Meredith – and Walter Tull (a British officer, mentioned in dispatches and killed at Favreuil only five months earlier).

Whose voice is it that we’re hearing? The article is credited to one “Hubert Preston” – most probably the journalist who ran Wisden for half a century. But Preston loved soccer and reported on professional matches throughout his career. I don’t think he’s doing any more here than channeling Clegg and Wreford-Brown. Why not Kinnaird? Because of Kinnaird’s past, which was that of a genuinely great and generous man, and because the only direct quotation is Kinnaird’s, a humorous reflection on the armistice – “the atmosphere was different from that expected when the meeting was called.”

Well, indeed.

Comments (6)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here