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Home: Non League Football Information: History:
The London FA and professional clubs in the 1890s

 



London Harrier
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Apr 17, 2018, 10:19 PM

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The London FA and professional clubs in the 1890s Can't Post or Reply Privately

Initially, the London FA upheld amateurism. Many of its member clubs (Clapton, Clapton Orient, Thames Ironworks) were regularly audited throughout the 1890s to ensure they weren’t engaging in veiled professionalism.

However, several professional London sides (e.g. Woolwich Arsenal, Spurs, Fulham, QPR, Millwall) emerged during this decade. Did these sides simply leave the amateur London FA on turning professional? I know Arsenal and QPR did, but what about the rest?


Goonerak
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Apr 18, 2018, 1:26 PM

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Yes, they had to resign their membership from the London FA upon turning professional.

Most Arsenal histories say that the club was expelled and boycotted by other clubs that were members of the London FA, but this has been proven to be incorrect.

The professional clubs were not allowed to play in any of the London FA competitions, such as the London Senior Cup and London Charity Cup.

Following pressure from the FA, the London FA eventually allowed the professional clubs into the organisation in 1908. This saw the inauguration of the London FA Challenge Cup in which the professional teams competed against the more competent amateur teams.


cope1
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Apr 21, 2018, 12:26 AM

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Re: [Goonerak] The London FA and professional clubs in the 1890s [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

When the 'Split' occurred in 1907 Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey defected to the AFA. London was poised to do so, but relented, and so professional clubs in areas where those counties overlapped with London joined London. Despite the reconciliation in 1914 clubs mostly stayed where they were, so a lot of professional clubs affiliate to London to this day instead of the alternative county, whichever it may be.


London Harrier
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Apr 29, 2018, 6:27 PM

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Re: [Goonerak] The London FA and professional clubs in the 1890s [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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Yes, they had to resign their membership from the London FA upon turning professional.

Most Arsenal histories say that the club was expelled and boycotted by other clubs that were members of the London FA, but this has been proven to be incorrect.

The professional clubs were not allowed to play in any of the London FA competitions, such as the London Senior Cup and London Charity Cup.

Following pressure from the FA, the London FA eventually allowed the professional clubs into the organisation in 1908. This saw the inauguration of the London FA Challenge Cup in which the professional teams competed against the more competent amateur teams.


Indeed. I was fascinated to read that after Royal Arsenal resigned in 1891. N L Jackson of the London FA proposed a resolution “that any club belonging to this Association playing against a professional club or player except in the Football Association Cup ties shall cease to belong to this Association”. The motion was defeated by 76 votes to 67 (I think). Some newspapers of the time paint N L Jackson as a rather stubborn, outdated figure by this point.

So, if I have it right, the London FA's amateur members could play pro clubs, but pro clubs weren't allowed in the London FA until 1908?


Goonerak
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Apr 29, 2018, 6:41 PM

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So, if I have it right, the London FA's amateur members could play pro clubs, but pro clubs weren't allowed in the London FA until 1908?


That's it. Arsenal actually played NL Jackson's Corinthian team in April 1894.

There is a whole chapter devoted to Royal Arsenal turning professional in my new book "Royal Arsenal - Champions of the South"

 
 


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