Blackburn Olympic not Rovers Football League Founder

Bit of a specialist ATL question Blackburn Olympic were the first working class team to win a FA Cup and one of the pioneers of professionalism in English football.

When the Football League was founded Rovers (who were more successful at the time) were chosen to represent Blackburn not Olympic. Wondering if anyone could think of any long term consequences of such a change on football in general and the English League?

Link to the wiki on the club below.

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Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
Commonly regarded as the first professional club to win the FA Cup, I believe their success was founded on a large number of Scots in the team. Perhaps foster greater opportunities for Scots to play in the Football League following Olympic's example - although the number of Scottish players was large already.
 
Part 1
I've decided to do this ATL just as a bit of personal fun, it's not deadly serious and will literally only be a list with footnotes. If I get a good reaction from the first two parts I'll try and up the pace of posting a bit.

The First Years

1888-89 Preston North End (1)
1889-90 Preston North End
1890-91 Everton (2) (3)
1891-92 Everton (4)
1892-93 Aston Villa (5)
1893-94 Blackburn Olympic
1894-95 Everton
1895-96 Aston Villa
1896-97 Sheffield United
1897-98 Sheffield United
1898-99 Sheffield United (6)
1899-00 West Bromwich Albion (7) (8)

Aston Villa - 2
Blackburn Olympic - 1
Everton - 3
Preston North End - 2
Sheffield United - 3
West Bromwich Albion - 1

(1) Mr William McGregor is known as the architect and founder of The Football League. He was born in Perthshire in 1847, moving to Birmingham in 1870 to set up a linen draper’s shop with his brother; near Aston Villa’s home ground Aston Park. McGregor would be invited to become a committee member for the club, then later be elected President. Despite the introduction of the Football Association (FA) and FA Cup ties being played, professional and amateur football clubs would have the sole task of organising matches with other teams-leading to, many times, miscommunication and confusion. In 1885, McGregor shared this view in a FA meeting that professionalism in football should be accepted as the game was changing and developing- admitting that Villa and other clubs had already been operating in a professional manner for some time. At the end of the conference the FA accepted professionalism in the game. Even with this new professional game, matches were still being cancelled with the clubs still having to pay their players despite no matches being played.

McGregor took action by writing to other clubs in towns and cities such as Blackburn, Bolton, Preston and West Bromwich Albion; about the possible creation of a football league competition. After discussions with various other club directors very few were initially interested with the noticeable rejections from various London clubs, possibly under the influence of the Football Association. Eventually the Football League began in 1888 with 12 founder members. The twelve founders were Accrington FC, Aston Villa, Blackburn Olympic, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley FC, Derby County, Everton, Notts County, Preston North End, Stoke FC, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers. With two points being awarded for a win, one for draw and none for a loss.

The major absentees outside of London proved to be either from Sheffield, Sunderland or Manchester. But also from places like Blackburn that had multiple successful clubs, in this case Blackburn Rovers and Blackburn Olympic two of the earliest winners of the FA Cup.

Many others owners would follow McGregors example establishing rival Leagues. The biggest threat would eventually come from the Football Combination that included teams such as Blackburn Rovers, Leicester Fosse, Newton Heath, Sunderland AFC and Upton Park FC.

(2) The Football League is expanded to 16 teams with addition of Grimsby Town, Liverpool FC, Liverpool Caledonian and The Wednesday (Later Sheffield Wednesday)

The addition of two new clubs from Liverpool create the Stanley Park Derbys, since all three clubs will play at ground within a 20 minute walk of each other. With Everton playing at Goodison Park from 1892 onwards after moving out of Anfield, Liverpool FC playing at Anfield and Liverpool Caledonian who will move into Stanley Park, Evertons old ground 1893. The iconic 'Three Stadiums' Aerial photograph taken during the World War 2 Blitz with Liverpool burning around the three intact stadiums will become a iconic image of Liverpool and British history.

(3) Sunderland Albion become first side elected to join the Football League, replacing Stoke FC.

(4) Newton Heath (Later Manchester United) are elected to join the Football League replacing Notts County.

(5) The Second Division is founded with sixteen teams including Burton Swifts FC, Crewe Alexander, Manchester St Augustine FC, Middlesbrough FC, Middlesbrough Ironopolis, Newcastle East End FC (Later Newcastle FC), Nottingham Forest, Northwich Victoria, Sheffield United, Small Heath FC, Stoke FC, Walsall Swifts FC, and Wigan FC from the Football Alliance and Northern League which will both collapse the following season, leaving only the Football Combination as the only potential national rival for the Football League. The remaining three teams are drawn from the Southern League of London and the Home Counties they are Fulham FC, Royal Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

The major derby matches created included the infamous Manchester Derby between United and St Augustine. Plus the 'Friendly Derby' between Middlesbrough FC and Middlesbrough Ironopolis. The 'Steel City' Sheffield Derby between United and Wednesday will also become a legendary contest.

Promotion and relegation between the Divisions is decided in a series of post season Test Matches between the bottom two teams of division one and the top two teams of division two in a series of one off head to head matches. The winner is promoted to Division One, the loser demoted to Division Two.

(6) Eight teams join the Football League from the Football Combination. The Combination will limp on for three more seasons before collapsing. From the North, Leicester Fosse and Sunderland AFC the top two teams in the Combination and six teams from the south (six out of the seven southern Combination teams) from London, Ironworks FC, Royal Ordinance FC and Upton Park FC. The other three teams are Bristol Rovers, Luton Town and Swindon Town. The League now consists of two twenty team Divisions.


(7) The entry of Ironworks FC who play at the Memorial Ground and Upton Park FC who play at the Upton Park Ground, though later the Boelyn Ground creates London's first legendary Derby Day match. While Royal Arsenal who play at the Invicta Ground and Royal Ordinance who play at the nearby Maze Hill Ground, will be a close second.

Sunderland Albion versus Sunderland AFC, with Albion playing at Roker Park and AFC at Newcastle Road a twenty minute walk to each other will become the big north eastern derby game the 'Mackem Derby'.

(8) Test Matches are replaced by automatic promotion for the top 3 teams in the Second Division and automatic relegation for the bottom three teams in the First Division.
 
Part 2
North East vs Midlands

1900-01 Aston Villa
1901-02 Wolverhampton Wanderers (1)
1902-03 Wolverhampton Wanderers (2)
1903-04 Sunderland AFC
1904-05 Aston Villa (3)
1905-06 Sunderland AFC
1906-07 Aston Villa
1907-08 Aston Villa (4)
1908-09 Newcastle FC
1909-10 Preston North End (5)

Aston Villa - 6
Blackburn Olympic - 1
Everton - 3
Newcastle FC - 1
Preston North End - 3
Sheffield United - 3
Sunderland AFC - 2
West Bromwich Albion - 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers- 2

(1) Wolves become the first team to complete a league season unbeaten, winning the First Division and becoming Champions in the process. They are dubbed the "Wonderous Wolves" in the press.

(2) Burton Swifts drop out of the Second Division due to financial problems and are replaced by a returning Notts County.

(3) Milwall FC become the last non-Football League club to reach the FA Cup Final losing 5-0 to Aston Villa.

(4) After almost going bankrupt trying to compete with Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Walsall Swifts are bought out by new owners. They are deselected from the League but successfully reapply to enter the League under the name Walsall FC.

(5) Preston North End win the league losing only one game all season and win the FA Cup. The first team to do the 'double' they are dubbed the 'Miracle Men' in the press.

At the other end of the League at the bottom of Division Two Northwich Victoria collapse into debt and crash out the league after the end of the season. In a emergency vote South Shore FC, from Blackpool, replace them in League Two at the start of the 1910-11 season.
 
Part 3
A Third Division and World War 1

1910-11 Preston North End (1)
1911-12 Preston North End
1912-13 Manchester United
1913-14 Aston Villa
1914-15 Burnley
1915-19 Play Suspended Due To World War One (2)
1919-20 Liverpool FC (3) (4)

Aston Villa - 6
Blackburn Olympic - 1
Burnley - 1
Everton - 3
Liverpool FC - 1
Manchester United - 1
Newcastle FC - 1
Preston North End - 5
Sheffield United - 3
Sunderland AFC - 2
West Bromwich Albion - 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers- 2

(1) German Max Seeburg debuts for Preston North End making him the first European player to appear in the First Division. By 1914 Preston will have three Germans, two French and a Dutchman in there regular starting line up. They quickly gain the nickname 'The Continentals' a name that will quickly stick amongst football fans.

(2) Between 1915 and 1919 competitive football was suspended in England. Many players signed up to fight in the war and as a result many teams were depleted, and fielded guest players instead. The Football League and FA Cup were suspended and in their place various regional league competitions were set up.

(3) The Third Division is founded with four Northern and Sixteen Southern Teams. From the North are Huddersfield Town, Oldham Villa, Shrewsbury Town and Tranmere Rovers. From the South Babbacombe & Torquay FC, Brentford FC, Brighton & Hove FC, Corinthians FC, Crystal Palace, Exeter City, Gillingham Town, Millwall FC, Northampton Town, Norwich City, Plymouth Argyle, Portsmouth FC, Reading FC, Southampton FC, Southend United and Watford FC.

(4) The entry of Corinthians FC into the league will start one of London football's great rivalries with Fulham FC playing at the new Stamford Bridge Stadium and Corinthians at the older Lille Bridge Stadium a stones throw from each other, separated by a Hospital. Eventually the game will become know as the 'NHS Derby'.
 
Part 4
Division 4 And The Merseyside Era

1920-21 Liverpool FC (1)
1921-22 Everton
1922-23 Everton (2)
1923-24 Sheffield Wednesday
1924-25 Huddersfield Town
1925-26 Everton
1926-27 Huddersfield Town (3)
1927-28 Liverpool FC
1928-29 Liverpool FC (4)
1929-30 Derby County (4)

Aston Villa - 6
Blackburn Olympic - 1
Burnley - 1
Derby County - 1
Everton - 6
Huddersfield Town - 2
Liverpool FC - 4
Manchester United - 1
Newcastle FC - 1
Preston North End - 5
Sheffield United - 3
Sheffield Wednesday - 1
Sunderland AFC - 2
West Bromwich Albion - 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers - 2

(1) Liverpool's title win of 1920-21 season will mark the start of a decade of Merseyside dominance in the game. Between them Merseyside clubs will win 5 FA Cups (Caledonians 3 and Everton 2) and 6 League titles (Liverpool 3 and Everton 3). Liverpool Caledonian will win the Second Division title in 1921-22 and cement themselves as a First Division club in the period and FA Cup specialists.

(2) Division 4 is founded with twenty teams, bringing in the last major cities without Football League representation and the biggest clubs from outside the Football League structure. They are Ashington FC, Barnsley FC, Barrow FC, Blackpool FC, Bradford City, Bradford Park Avenue, Cambridge United, Carlisle FC, Chesterfield Trinity, Doncaster Rovers, Fleetwood FC, Hartlepool FC, Hull AFC, Lancaster City, Leeds United, Manchester City, Newcastle Red Star, Oxford United, Rochdale FC and Stalybridge Celtic.

The new intake creates several new derby games the South Shore/Blackpool/Fleetwood Derby games. Also the more bitterly contested Bradford derby between City and Park Avenue.

Though by this point a large number of regional derbys exist that are starting to surpass the city based derbys such as Manchester United vs Everton or Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Aston Villa.

(3) The Villa Park stadium disaster takes place during a First Division game between Aston Villa and Everton. A fire believed to have been caused by a lit cigarette thrown into rubbish under the terraces guts the Holte End and severely damaged the adjacent stands. Poorly maintained wooden terraces and poor waste managment are blamed in a subsequent Government enquiry. One hundred and three people are killed. Villa are forced to play home games at West Broms, Hawthorns or Small Heaths St.Andrews grounds for two years as Villa Park is rebuilt.

New Government Stadium laws make safety rails mandatory, terraces have to be reinforced by concrete or earth works and the 'Fire Exit' is pioneered all by successive Government Legislation. Archibald Leitch the designer of the old Villa Park and many other old grounds, will help pioneer this new era of football grounds.

This will include the renovated 'New' Villa Park various Leitch designed or renovated grounds or stands will survive late into the twenty first century.

(4) The first five figure player transfer takes place when Blackburn Olympic, Derby County and Royal Arsenal compete for the services of Bolton Wanderers Forward David Jack. Derby County win the race for the England international for a eye watering £12,500.

(5) Derby County winning the 1929-30 season would mark the swing to new set of football powerhouses and the decline of the fortunes of Merseyside. Derby, Huddersfield and Royal Arsenal would dominate the thirties in League and Cup competition.
 
Part 5
Derby County, Huddersfield Town and Royal Arsenal

1930-31 Derby County
1931-32 Huddersfield Town
1932-33 Derby County (1)
1933-34 Sunderland AFC
1934-35 Huddersfield Town (2)
1935-36 Royal Arsenal (3)
1936-37 Royal Arsenal (4)
1937-38 Royal Arsenal
1938-39 Huddersfield Town (5) (6)
1939-46 Football League Abandoned Due To World War Two (7)

Aston Villa - 6
Blackburn Olympic - 1
Burnley - 1
Derby County - 3
Everton - 6
Huddersfield Town - 5
Liverpool FC - 4
Manchester United - 1
Newcastle FC - 1
Preston North End - 5
Royal Arsenal - 3
Sheffield United - 3
Sheffield Wednesday - 1
Sunderland AFC - 3
West Bromwich Albion - 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers - 2

(1) Derby County achieve 'The Double' winning the league and the FA Cup in the same season.

(2) Major changes occur in the Football League, for the first time 3 points are awarded for a win and Goal Difference not Goal Average is used to sort league rankings in the event of a points tie at the end of season. If the teams remain level yellow and red cards are considered, if they are still level a coin toss is held. Though one will never be needed at the professional level.

(3) After being managed by Herbert Chapman between 1925-1934. Royal Arsenal win three League titles back to back under the Football Leagues first and for many years only European Manager Italian, Vittorio Pozzo, formerly the Italian National team manager. A combination of home sickness and rising political tensions will see him return home at the end of the 1937-38 season. His Metodo formation and the WM formation pioneered by Chapman will influence English and British football until the Busby Babes era. Pozzo upon his return to Italy would manage his beloved Torino FC until his retirement at the end of the 1950-51 season. His time at Torino included eight league titles, five cup wins and the first three Italian Doubles.

(4) The major amateur leagues below the football league have condensed into four semi-professional regional leagues. The Northern League covering the north of England. The Midlands Conference covering the Midlands and Bristol areas. The Southern League covering London and the South East. With the Coastal League covering the South West, the South Coast and the Channel Islands.

(5) Welshman Bryn Jones becomes the last great pre-WW2 transfer moving from Norwich City to Derby County for a eye watering £18,000.

(6) The FA formally introduces the Two Year Rule stating that players should have lived in Britain for two years before they can play for a Football League Club. The rule states nothing regarding managers or coaches, which the FA regard as little more than a temporary fad. Several other bylaws make it far harder for English clubs to play abroad or host foreign teams for Friendlies without FA approval. Amongst many chairman, managers, players and fans it is seen as a blatant power grab by the 'Old Boys' at the FA. As a unintended consequence many World War Two Prisoners of War from the Axis will play for English teams after the war, since they 'lived' in Britain for two years during the war a circumstance the FA didn't bother to word against.

(7) On 21 September 1939, the government announced football games would continue but not under the divisions that the game traditionally held. After a fifty-mile loosely enforced travelling limit was established, the football association divided the football league into separate regional leagues with attendance numbers capped below 15,000. In the interests of War Work fixture rules, including Sunday Fixtures, were relaxed. The War Time Leagues continued for the 1945-46 Season, but the FA Cup returned, replacing the various regional cups that had been held. The War Time Leagues are fondly remembered by some clubs, less so by others, but they did provide war workers and civilians a valuable escape from the realities of total war.
 
Part 6
The Start Of A Dynasty

1946-47 Everton (1)
1947-48 Everton (2)
1948-49 Norwich City
1949-50 Portsmouth FC (3)

Aston Villa - 6
Blackburn Olympic - 1
Burnley - 1
Derby County - 3
Everton - 7
Huddersfield Town - 5
Liverpool FC - 4
Manchester United - 1
Newcastle FC - 1
Norwich City - 1
Portsmouth FC - 1
Preston North End - 5
Royal Arsenal - 3
Sheffield United - 3
Sheffield Wednesday - 1
Sunderland AFC - 3
West Bromwich Albion - 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers - 2

(1) Matt Busby is appointed manager of Manchester United. He will hold the post until the end of the 1969-70 season.He will assemble the team that will bear his name built around a mixture of young home grown players, prudent British buys and a sprinkling of foreign stars. Famous British babes include Duncan Edward's, John Charles, Bobby Charlton, George Best and Will Foulkes. Famous foreign imports include legendary German Goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, fellow German Fritz Walker and perhaps the greatest of them all signed in 1958, at the tender age of 31, Hungarian, Ferenc Puskas.

(2) The first pre-season Charity Shield is held between the previous seasons League and FA Cup Winners. Everton beat Corinthians FC 3-2, with all gate receipts going to charity. The game will become the traditional pre-season opener, if a team does the double the previous seasons FA Cup Final is repeated.

(3) After three years of angry debate, and the threat of a mass withdrawal of non-football league clubs from the FA Cup, the last national league Division 5 is founded. To provide a home for the smallest professional clubs and largest semi-professional clubs. Promotion to Division 4 and relegation from Division 4 will be limited to one club per season.
It will be the lowest level of the Football League, the founding twenty clubs are as follows Atherton AFC, Bath City, Bristol Severnside, Cambridge Athletics Club, Cambridge FC, Chester FC, Dover Athletic, Farley Celtic, Glossop North End, Gloucester City, Hereford FC, Morecombe FC, Sutton United, Warrington Town, Waverly FC, Weymouth FC, Wimbledon FC, Wood Green FC Yeovil Town & York City.
 
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Part 7
Manchester Is Red

1950-51 Manchester United (1)
1951-52 Manchester United
1952-53 Wolverhampton Wanderers
1953-54 Burnley FC
1954-55 Manchester United
1955-56 Manchester United (2)
1956-57 Manchester United (3)
1957-58 Tottenham Hotspur
1958-59 Manchester United (4) (5)
1959-60 Ironworks FC

Aston Villa - 6
Blackburn Olympic - 1
Burnley - 2
Derby County - 3
Everton - 7
Huddersfield Town - 5
Ironworks FC - 1
Liverpool FC - 4
Manchester United - 7
Newcastle FC - 1
Norwich City - 1
Portsmouth FC - 1
Preston North End - 5
Royal Arsenal - 3
Sheffield United - 3
Sheffield Wednesday - 1
Sunderland AFC - 3
Tottenham Hotspur - 1
West Bromwich Albion - 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers - 3

(1) The spending power of European clubs begins to match and in some cases outstrip English clubs for the first time leading to several high profile transfers abroad for English players. John Chatles will become the first British player to demand a fee of £50,000 when he moves to Real Madrid during the 1956-57 season. But traffic is far from one way Karl Aage Hansen and Viggo Jensen, both Danish, played for Burnley FC for example. Calls to relax restrictions on foriegn players were growing amongst clubs and fans. Only the threat of a breakaway top flight spearheaded by Liverpool, Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and eventually Manchester United saying they would 'consider' joining caused the FA to change the two year rule by the end of the 1956-57 season. The two year rule was the effective defacto requirement for players to have lived in the UK for two years before playing for an English side had a long history. But the defacto knowledge several clubs had found creative ways around the wording and spirit of the law, a particular humorous example being of German journeyman player Max Smelling and his move to Division Three Barrow FC in 1954. The Chairman of Barrow FC pointed out a young Max had been a POW in England for three years during World War Two, so he had lived in the UK for three years of his life already! Examples such as this took advantage of the poor wording of the Two Year Rule and the fact the ever provincial FA never got round to changing it.

(2) Manchester United win the inaugural European Champions Cup, a straight knockout tournament with its final held in Paris. One FA big wig is reported as saying 'This European football nonsense will soon die out'. Once reported in the press the comment is widely ridiculed by football fans, particularly when Prime Minister Eden publicly congratulates the team.

(3) The Two Year Rule is replaced by the Player Cap Rule, another FA Fudge. The rule limits Football League clubs to five foriegn born players per squad, except if they have proven second generation British or Irish ancestry. Special exceptions can be made for 'exceptional talents' though they have to be approved by the FA. Suddenly English clubs begin searches for long lost British relations of any foreign player they wish to sign.

(4) Manchester United equal Evertons record of 7 league titles, further intensifying the inter club rivalry.

(5) Manchester United also become the first English club to do a 'treble' winning the League, FA Cup and European Champions Cup in the same season.
 
I've got an idea for the Premier League or equivalent. I've just to relearn some history to do with it's formation. Because satellite TV is still going to arrive eventually.
Was cable not popular in UK? Maybe the FA negotiated better for TV deals?
 
Was cable not popular in UK? Maybe the FA negotiated better for TV deals?

Well cable is strange, it's near impossible to get in some areas, but the common choice in others. Personally I had never even seen a cable box in the flesh until I moved to Gloucestershire area, while previously in Devon it was a Sky Satelite dish or nothing for dedicated Sports Channels.

The Premier League, and this is abridged, only became really flush with cash when they had Sky and BT Sport fighting it out for blocks of matches on a more even footing. UK sports history is littered with companies who tried to break the Sky monopoly from 1990 onwards.
 
Tifo football on YouTube have several really good videos on the subject I'm going to rewatch before I do the relevant updates.
 
Part 8
The Rise Of Manchester City

1960-61 Manchester United (1)
1961-62 Tottenham Hotspur (2)
1962-63 Manchester United
1963-64 Sheffield Wednesday
1964-65 Manchester United
1965-66 Manchester City (3) (4)
1966-67 Manchester City
1667-68 Manchester City (5)
1968-69 Burnley
1969-70 Liverpool FC (6) (7)

Aston Villa - 6
Blackburn Olympic - 1
Burnley - 3
Derby County - 3
Everton - 7
Huddersfield Town - 5
Ironworks FC - 1
Liverpool FC - 5
Manchester City - 3
Manchester United - 10
Newcastle FC - 1
Norwich City - 1
Portsmouth FC - 1
Preston North End - 5
Royal Arsenal - 3
Sheffield United - 3
Sheffield Wednesday - 2
Sunderland AFC - 3
Tottenham Hotspur - 2
West Bromwich Albion - 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers - 3

(1) Don Reevie is appointed Manchester City manager, the perennial under achievers of Manchester football.He revolutionised the club introducing lengthy dossiers on opposing teams to ensure his players knew every detail about the opposition and were able to exploit weaknesses. He fostered a family atmosphere in the club, treating cleaners exactly the same as his players, making sure each staff member got a christmas bonus and birthday gifts from the club. Amongst many other changes.

(2) England win the 1962 World Cup held in Chile.

(3) England win the 1966 World Cup held in England.

(4) Brian Clough is appointed Liverpool FC manager mid way through the season with the club languishing near relegation in Division 3, it's worst ever position. Clough brings in Peter Taylor to be his assistant, the start of a fruitful relationship at Liverpool.

(5) Manchester City are the second English side to win the European Champions Cup and the second to do a 'Treble'.

(6) Matt Busby steps down as Manchester United manager after winning the Charity Shield and FA Cup in his final season. One of three FA Cups in the last six seasons (including four appearances in the final).

(7) After years of struggling with debt Atherton AFC go into liquidation at the end of the season and are voted out of the League. In a tight race between Ipswich Town and Forest Green Rovers, Ipswich Town are voted into the league by one vote
 
Part 9
War In The North West

1970-71 Manchester City
1971-72 Liverpool FC (1)
1972-73 Sunderland Albion
1973-74 Liverpool FC (2)
1974-75 Manchester City (3) (4) (5)
1975-76 Portsmouth FC (6) (7) (8)
1976-77 Manchester City
1977-78 Liverpool Caledonian
1978-79 Liverpool Caledonian (9)
1979-80 Liverpool Caledonian (10) (11) (12)

Aston Villa - 6
Blackburn Olympic - 1
Burnley - 3
Derby County - 3
Everton - 7
Huddersfield Town - 5
Ironworks FC - 1
Liverpool Caledonian - 1
Liverpool FC - 7
Manchester City - 6
Manchester United - 10
Newcastle FC - 1
Norwich City - 1
Portsmouth FC - 2
Preston North End - 5
Royal Arsenal - 3
Sheffield United - 3
Sheffield Wednesday - 2
Sunderland AFC - 3
Sunderland Albion - 1
Tottenham Hotspur - 2
West Bromwich Albion - 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers - 3

(1) Martin Peter's moves from Ironworks FC to Royal Arsenal for a record fee of £200,000. With Britain soon to be a member of the European Economic Community the Football League starts a final dismantling of foriegn player and player movement restrictions in the Football League, with caps formerly being dropped by the end of the decade.

(2) Liverpool FC equal Evertons number of league titles.

(3) The infamous 'Season of Hate' between Liverpool and Manchester City. Meeting four times, each time ending with at least one red card. Most infamously the first two Red Cards in a FA Cup final which Liverpool FC win 3-2.

(4) Kevin Keegan moves from Everton to Barcelona for a record fee of £500,000.

(5) After falling out with the Liverpool board Brian Clough and his entire back room staff 'cross the park' to Liverpool Caledonian struggling near the bottom of Division One for six seasons. An act that will deeply divide Liverpool FC fans, neighbours and families in Liverpool. Liverpool FC will soon regret his departure.

(6) Andy Gray moves from West Bromwich Albion to Manchester City for a fee of £1,000,000.

(7) Don Reevie leaves Manchester City to take up the managers post at Real Madrid. He will win three Spanish League titles and three European Champions Cups in five seasons before he retires. Manchester City fans will have mixed views of Reevie for the success he brought and his 'betrayal' with his suprise move to Madrid.

(8) Manchester United are relegated from Division One for the first time, beginning three seasons in Division Two as they rebuild from the ground up under Jock Stein former Celtic manager and two time European Champions Cup winner with Celtic. Stein will manage them until the end of the 1983-84 season taking them back to the First Division and three FA Cup finals, winning two.

(9) Liverpool Caledonian win the League and European Champions Cup under Brian Clough.

(10) Liverpool Caledonian become the first English side to retain the European Champions Cup, joining only Real Madrid and Barcelona in an elite club.

(11) Waverly FC go into liquidation before the end of the season and are voted out the Football League, Forest Green Rovers are invited to take there place at the start of the next season. The FA launches a study to determine the best way to bring about promotion and relegation between the Football League and non-league football.

(12) Bobby Robson takes over as manager at Everton after overseeing the promotion of Huddersfield Town back into the First Division for the first time in twenty years. His first signing is Trevor Francis for 1,250,000 from Manchester City smashing the transfer record, making Francis the first million pound player.
 
Part 10
The Decade Of Change

1980-81 Manchester City
1981-82 Nottingham Forest (1) (2)
1982-83 Everton (3) (4)
1983-84 Norwich City (5)
1984-85 Royal Arsenal
1985-86 Norwich City (6)
1986-87 Everton
1987-88 Everton (7) (8)
1988-89 Corinthians FC (9)
1989-90 Everton (10) (11) (12)

Aston Villa - 6
Blackburn Olympic - 1
Burnley - 3
Corinthians FC - 1
Derby County - 3
Everton - 11
Huddersfield Town - 5
Ironworks FC - 1
Liverpool Caledonian - 4
Liverpool FC - 7
Manchester City - 7
Manchester United - 10
Newcastle FC - 1
Norwich City - 3
Nottingham Forest - 1
Portsmouth FC - 2
Preston North End - 5
Royal Arsenal - 4
Sheffield United - 3
Sheffield Wednesday - 2
Sunderland AFC - 3
Sunderland Albion - 1
Tottenham Hotspur - 2
West Bromwich Albion - 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers - 3

(1) The twenty team Northern Premier and twenty team Southern Premier are founded, the new highest non-league divisions. Two teams will be relegated from Division 5 each season with the winners of the Northern Premier and Southern Premier being promoted to replace them. Both leagues will frequently shuffle members each season to remain twenty teams each, several clubs quickly become famous for bouncing between the leagues.

Northern Premier Founders -
Blyth Spartans, Brackley Town, Bradford FC, Byker FC, Curzon Ashton, Darlington, Derby FC, Gateshead, Halesowen FC, Kettering Town, Manchester Central, Marine FC, Moor Green FC, Old Hill FC, Rushall Olympic, Solihull FC, Spennymoor Town, Walsall Park FC & Wolverhampton Casuals FC

Southern Premier Founders -
Ashton Gate FC, Bideford Town, Bishops Stortford FC Bognor Regis FC, Chelmsford FC, Chippenham FC, Cray Wanderers, Eastbourne FC, Enfield FC, Gloucester DeHaviland FC, Guernsey Island FC, Hungerford Town, Ipswich FC, Redruth FC, South Park FC, Sporting Phoenix FC, Taunton Town, Tiverton Town, Truro FC & Welling United

(2) Promotion/relegation between Division 4 and Division 5 is changed to two teams each way instead of one.

(3) The European Cup Winners Cup is launched for winners of national domestic cup competitions.

(4) A major argument breaks out between the top First Division clubs and the Football League over TV rights. The major English clubs had begun to transform into business ventures, applying commercial principles to club administration to maximise revenue. Threatening to break away, they gain more favourable arrangements taking 50% of all sponsorship, TV and media revenue. With many stadiums in bad shape, the new revenue leads to a series of major stadium upgrades for teams in the First and to a lesser degree the Second Division. Though they won't come fast enough.

(5) In a suprise move Brian Clough moves to Norwich City, with Peter Taylor, after falling out with several members of the Liverpool Caledonian board. Leading to the Canaries most successful period in the twentieth century winning two league, one FA Cup and one Charity Shield in six years. Until he takes the job of England manager at the end of the 1888-89 season.

(6) Little know Scottish Manager Alex Ferguson is appointed as the new Royal Arsenal manager. His first signing is Mark Hughes from Manchester United for £1,500,000 an English and club record.

(7) Everton draw level with Manchester United on League titles once again and win the European Champions Cup for the first time.

(8) The Roker Park Stadium Fire takes place during a packed Mackem Derby between Sunderland AFC and Sunderland Albion. The derby is the first in Division One for twenty five years. Caused by a faulty electrics, the fire spread through the old Clock Stand rapidly reaching the felt roof in under two minutes. Black smoke enveloped the stand, while burning felt dropped on fans below and started fires on the roofs of neighbouring stands. In thirty minutes three stands are wrecked and three hundred home and away fans are dead, twice that number horribly burned or partially crushed in the panic to escape. The Government Oakwell Report blames ancient faulty electrics, poor safety procedures including blocked fire exits and a simple lack of money to replace the ancient Clock Stand for the disaster.

(9) The English Super League or ESL for short is formed and will play its first season in 1989-90, with the formal support of the FA, but not the Football League. After Sky TV and ITV engage in a bitter bidding war for the right to show top flight English football, eventually won by Sky Satelite TV, though the BBC would retain control of the weekly highlights package under its Match of the Day program. The new league would involve the 18th highest placed teams in that season's First Division as well as the champions and runners-up of Division Two. Seventy five percent of the leagues revenue through sponsorship and TV rights would go to teams in the ESL, the rest to the FA and Football League Clubs in the first five years. After that the ESL will be free to negotiate it's own TV and Sponsorship deals, as long as ten percent of those deals are shared amongst the football league clubs. Promotion and relegation from the ESL to Division 2 will remain the same. Changes to the ESL have to be supported by two thirds of its member clubs and the FA, the so called twenty one seat Governing Council. The Football League is given a non-voting seat on the council, as are clubs relegated from the ESL in the previous three seasons, if they fail to get promoted back to the ESL.

(10) After a decade of struggle Liverpool appoint Arsene Wenger as there new manager after he takes Nancy to three consecutive French league titles and a European Champions Cup. Wenger will revolutionise English football with his possession based and high tech approach.

(11) The first ESL season is met with a huge series of stadium redevelopment announcements in light of the Oakwell Report and the increased revenue from Sky. Also the ESL clubs begin scouring Europe and the world for top class talent on a scale not seen before.

(12) Corinthians FC star Chris Waddle becomes the first ever £5,000,000 player when he transfers to Real Madrid at the end of the season.
 
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1925-26 Everton


in 1925-26 the Mighty Darlington finished 15th in Division 2 ( won that year by The Wednesaday). The following season 1926-27 Darlington finished 21st on 30 points and were relegated by 1 point ( Clapton Orient finished on 31)

In idle moments I have often wondered what might have been if we had stayed in division 2 for a period. Darlington at that time was an industrial town of railways, steel, bridges and chemicals. it must have been flush with cash and flush with successful local businessmen. It was a time when wages were fairly consistent across clubs, subject to a maximum wage, life was hard, football with your local club was natural and transfers not as prevalent as today. We had won Division 3 (N) and were on the up. Perhaps we might have made it to the first division. We didn't. It has been down hill ever since!
 
in 1925-26 the Mighty Darlington finished 15th in Division 2 ( won that year by The Wednesaday). The following season 1926-27 Darlington finished 21st on 30 points and were relegated by 1 point ( Clapton Orient finished on 31)

In idle moments I have often wondered what might have been if we had stayed in division 2 for a period. Darlington at that time was an industrial town of railways, steel, bridges and chemicals. it must have been flush with cash and flush with successful local businessmen. It was a time when wages were fairly consistent across clubs, subject to a maximum wage, life was hard, football with your local club was natural and transfers not as prevalent as today. We had won Division 3 (N) and were on the up. Perhaps we might have made it to the first division. We didn't. It has been down hill ever since!

I'm a Norwich fan, most of my family support Leeds or Wolves and doing this ATL it's amazing how much of what we assume is footballs natural order is down to who was mates with who and blind luck. I never knew how many versions of Wigan football club existed!
 
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