1 Ravaged by war - Part 2 Ten years
in the making - Results
and table - printer
Leeds City Association Football Club had hoped that the 1914/15
season would see them finally secure promotion into the First
Division. But extreme inconsistency through the autumn undermined
those aspirations: City had followed a 6-3 reverse at Birmingham
on 24 October by turning over Grimsby 5-0 a week later; a
7-2 thrashing of Leicester Fosse on 12 December was sandwiched
between disappointing losses at Nottingham Forest and Barnsley.
Beating struggling Glossop twice over the Christmas holiday period,
however, left the club at a season's high 13th position, looking
to put together a run that would see them scale the table.
They expected to continue their advance with an Elland Road fixture
against Stockport County on 2 January, but were sadly disappointed,
as recounted by JRB in his report of the game for the Leeds Mercury.
"The defeat of Leeds City by Stockport County must have been
a big disappointment to the majority of the seven thousand spectators
who assembled at Elland Road. It cannot be gainsaid that on the
day's play the visitors were fully entitled to both points, as
they were quite as good as Leeds in attack and certainly superior
"Their victory of three goals to one was not brought about by
means of really clever forward work, but owing to the weakness
of the home backs. They frequently let in the County forwards,
who made the most of the mistakes of Blackman and Affleck. The
goal scored by Stockport after half an hour's play was the result
of an error on the part of Blackman, who let Lloyd - a very good
wing forward - get past him, to give the ball to Kenyon, who scored.
With this goal the visitors led at the interval, although Leeds
came near scoring on two occasions.
"Although the City managed to equalise about fifteen minutes
after the interval, Speirs heading in from a pass by Bainbridge,
they never played like a winning side, and appeared to be worn
out at the conclusion of the game. It is true that they came within
an ace of scoring towards the end when McLeod, with only Evans
to beat, sent in a hard drive, which the County custodian smartly
saved, but with difficulty.
"Stockport's other two goals came in the last eight minutes,
Rodgers scoring from an accurately-placed centre by Proctor, who
also took the corner kick which enabled Graham to beat Hogg for
the third time.
"The City forwards did well. At times they passed splendidly,
while Sharpe and McLeod sent in several good shots. They had to
work hard to get past Goodwin and Fagan, an admirable pair of
backs, who played a big part in the success of the visitors. In
of them were a good trio of halves, who supported their forwards
well. The same can be said of the home lot, of whom Hampson was
the pick. Law, who took the free kicks, narrowly missed scoring
on two occasions."
Thus thwarted, City did not hold out much hope for their FA
Cup first round tie, away to Derby County on 9 January. The
Rams were atop the Second Division table and had gone fourteen
matches without defeat since Leeds beat them at the Baseball Ground
on 10 October. That win was City's only success away from Elland
Road thus far and they had won just five of their thirteen games
It was with a little trepidation, therefore, that the City party
left for the East Midlands.
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The only change to the Leeds team was Harry Peart returning at
centre-half for the injured Jack Hampson and the eleven read as
follows: Tony Hogg; Fred Blackman,
George Affleck; George Law, Peart, Mick Foley; Simpson Bainbridge,
John Jackson, Billy McLeod, Jimmy Speirs (captain), Ivan Sharpe.
The Peacocks played a sound game, far better than their record
suggested they might, starting "in a quick and confident style",
according to the Yorkshire Post. Sharpe gave them a first half
lead and though Fordham equalised for Derby following a free kick,
McLeod scored the winner towards the end of the tie.
The victory was well deserved, though it was generally reported
that it was a case of County being poor rather than Leeds playing
an outstanding game. Nevertheless, it was a notable achievement
and a rare Cup victory for City.
When the Peacocks followed on a week later with an
astonishing 6-2 victory at Hull, McLeod contributing five
goals, it seemed that they had turned the corner. Incredibly,
the erratic form that had haunted the club continued unabated;
City lost five games on the bounce, the first four without troubling
The first of those defeats, at Blackpool on 23 January, came
courtesy of a hotly disputed penalty eight minutes before the
end of the first half. Tommy Lamph retained his position at centre-half
with Peart suspended and Hampson injured, but conceded the spot
kick after bringing down Blackpool inside-right Green.
Herbert Chapman was absent
from the game, choosing instead to watch his old club Northampton
play Queens Park Rangers, City's opponents in the second round
of the Cup the following week.
The defeat at Blackpool was not the best preparation for facing
a team who were champions of the Southern League in 1908 and 1912
and had gone unbeaten since the end of November. But memories
of the first round victory at Derby were still vivid and gave
supporters hopes of another win. The only team change saw Hampson
restored after three games out with flu. The City party travelled
to London by train the day before the tie and spent the evening
at the Kings Cross Hotel.
City negotiated for the game to be played at Elland Road as both
Chelsea and Fulham were also playing at home, but their request
was rejected by Rangers.
Given the competition from the other games in West London, an
attendance of around 10,000 was as good as could be expected,
and among them were a number of Leeds soldiers attached to the
Yorkshire Light Infantry, in training at Whitley Common in Surrey.
Though the day was fine, the pitch was greasy and holding. Jimmy
Speirs won the toss but there was little wind and little advantage
to be gained.
Rangers were committed to an aggressive pressing game and two
free kicks were awarded
against them in as many minutes. The Londoners' right winger,
Thompson, had a couple of promising runs and sound defensive work
was required of first Hampson and then Blackman to deny him.
Bainbridge led the first City attack and Rangers keeper MacLeod
had to be smart to block a Speirs header and then a hard drive
by the same player. City came close to scoring from a well-placed
corner by Bainbridge but MacLeod saved a header from his Leeds
namesake before Bainbridge hammered the loose ball wide.
Rangers responded powerfully and when one fierce drive came in
from Birch it was only denied by a City defender throwing his
body fearlessly into its path.
At the other end, Billy McLeod beat a number of defenders before
feeding Jackson, but the inside-forward had little room to fashion
a shooting opportunity for himself.
A closely-fought contest reached the interval without a goal,
but Rangers pressed hard at the start of the second half, with
Leeds showing the effects of the first half pace and the heavy
Hogg was brilliant in saving from Donald and Mitchell, at one
stage diving at the ball and then flicking it clear as he lay
sprawled on the ground. Blackman was cautioned by the referee
for bringing down Miller on the edge of the
Seven minutes after the resumption, Hogg's goal was pierced.
Affleck misjudged his kick and gave Broster and Thompson the chance
to break down the right. Thompson fired across the face of goal
and inside-left Simons registered an easy score. There were protests
that Simons was offside, but the referee dismissed the claims.
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Rangers continued to attack and Affleck, Hampson and Blackman
were forced to concede corners before Hogg was injured and required
treatment following one save.
Yorkist in the Leeds Mercury: "With only fifteen minutes left
for play, Leeds City rallied in remarkable fashion. Twice in rapid
succession the Rangers custodian was almost beaten. Then City
forced a corner, and immediately following this McLeod and Jackson
appeared certain to score between them. McLeod was in the act
of shooting when one of the Rangers backs, who had fallen, held
McLeod as in a vice with his legs, and the Rangers custodian was
able to clear. Had the referee noticed the incident he must have
awarded a penalty. Then Jackson was nearly through again, the
Rangers custodian saving with a crowd of players on top of him.
"Try as they would, the City could not get the ball in the net,
and it was a great relief to the crowd when the whistle went for
"The two outstanding men on the Leeds City side were Hogg and
Hampson. Hogg gave a remarkably fine display of goalkeeping, and
he came through a very trying time in the second half with distinct
credit. Blackman and Affleck were not quite as sound as usual
at back. They made few serious mistakes, however, and it was distinctly
hard luck on Affleck that one of his few errors should have cost
his side so dearly. Apart from that mistake, his work was good.
"Hampson distinguished himself at centre-half, and his display
was all the more noteworthy because of the fact that it was his
first appearance after the illness which kept him out of the team
since the Stockport County match on January 4th. He was the best
half-back on the field. Law was a good second to him, and Foley,
of less prominence than the other two, also worked hard.
"The forwards were good in the first half and in the last quarter
of an hour Speirs, McLeod and Jackson were the pick. Bainbridge
made the most of his chances, but most of the play was on the
other wing. Ivan Sharpe was not allowed much time, however, as
he was well watched."
City lost a midweek match at home to Clapton Orient thanks to
a breakaway goal five minutes before half time. Hogg caught a
centre but his clearance fell to Orient centre-forward Jonas,
who scored easily.
The Londoners were on defence for most of the game and were lucky
not to concede when City were awarded a penalty in the first ten
minutes. Sharpe drove the kick straight at the goalkeeper. Shortly
afterwards McLeod headed against the bar and Speirs then went
close with two headers.
"On the run of the play they ought easily to have won," reported
the Yorkshire Post. "In the second half quite four fifths of the
play again ran in the City's favour, but score they could not."
The Peacocks' misery was compounded when McLeod suffered a ricked
back and finished the game a limping passenger on the right wing.
The centre-forward was an absentee when City visited Highbury
on 6 February to play The Arsenal. The Leeds line up showed a
host of changes with Herbert Chapman resting a number of players
who required a break. John Edmondson was given his debut in McLeod's
stead, as was goalkeeper Willis Walker as replacement for Tony
Hogg. Jack McQuillan made
his first appearance since the middle of November, taking the
place of Fred Blackman, while John Jackson ousted Simpson Bainbridge
on the right wing.
The turf was "simply not fit for serious football", according
to the Yorkshire Post. "The greater part of the playing pitch
was ankle deep in mud. It was gravely stated that the condition
of the ground was not as bad as it had previously been for some
hence the advantage of acquaintance with it by the home side will
"As it was, the game was well and closely contested, and the
City on the general play deserved at least to share the points.
They had rather the worse of the play in the first half, but were
the more aggressive side afterwards, and only the splendid goalkeeping
of Lievesley, combined with examples of really bad luck, prevented
them from scoring.
"The Arsenal scored the two goals of the match in the first half,
one after twenty minutes' play and the other just before the interval.
Rutherford was the scorer in the first instance, and he also initiated
the movement that led to the second goal. He had just had a hard,
direct shot excellently parried by Walker in the City goal and
then sent across a left leg drive, which was obviously intended
for a centre, but the ball curled in and found the far corner
of the net. Walker was taken by surprise, and fell before he could
reach the ball.
"In the other case Rutherford made a fast run and centre, and
Bradshaw was allowed to score more easily than he should have
done, for Walker did not anticipate the shot, and again stumbled
in trying to save it. The Arsenal goal had narrow escapes from
shots by Edmondson and headers by Speirs, and it was generally
acknowledged that Leeds did not deserve to be two goals behind
at half time.
"In the second half the City showed the better stamina and were
triers to the last minute. Their own goal was several times assailed,
but without falling, Walker saving some good shots, and Law, Hampson,
Affleck and McQuillan showing good defence. Flanagan and Bradshaw
caused them the most trouble. On the other hand, the City attacked
hotly, especially in the last twenty minutes, and Edmondson found
his best shots splendidly dealt with by Lievesley, who can still
claim to be as good a goalkeeper as he was at Sheffield. Twice,
however, he was lucky in having shots cannon harmlessly off him
when he had fairly been beaten."
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The 2-0 defeat was disappointing after such a splendid performance,
but was not unexpected against a team who moved into second place
in the table as a consequence. The following weekend brought no
respite, for the visitors to Elland Road were table topping Derby
County, eager to gain revenge for the two defeats they had suffered
at home to City earlier in the campaign.
Walker and Edmondson retained their places, though Billy McLeod
was recalled, playing inside-right; Harry Peart deputised for
Jack Hampson, excused service on compassionate grounds after the
death of his father during the week.
Yorkist in the Leeds Mercury: "It was only in accord with the
many curious results of football
this season that Leeds City should be beaten at home by Derby
County. The Elland Road representatives astonished the football
world by winning at Derby in October by the odd goal in three,
and they repeated the performance in the first round of the Cup
competition, these being the only occasions Derby County have
failed on their own ground this season. Their victory by 5-3 at
Elland Road on Saturday was a fair measure of revenge.
"The match was altogether a disastrous one for Leeds City. It
had promised to be one of the most attractive of the season, but
it was ruined by the blizzard. It was surprising that as many
as four thousand people had the courage to turn out in such shocking
weather, but the majority of them were under shelter in the stands.
"The players had a gruelling time of it. The ground was little
better than a lake of mud, while rain and sleet, driven by a chilling
breeze, fell practically throughout the ninety minutes. One or
two of the players were scarcely fit to turn out in the second
half, so severely had they been buffeted by the storm.
"In spite of all this, however, quite an interesting game was
served up. There were naturally numerous mistakes, and it was
the mistakes of Leeds City which contributed to their defeat more
than the cleverness of Derby County. Leeds City undoubtedly had
the better of the play for the greater part of the game, but mistakes
on the part of their defence cost them four of the five goals
recorded by Derby County and that was how the visitors succeeded.
"Only twice in the first ten minutes of the game did Derby County
become dangerous, but on each occasion they were virtually presented
with a goal. On the first occasion both Peart and Blackman missed
the ball and Moore, the County inside-left, got away with a clear
course, and scored from short range. A similar mistake by Affleck
led to Derby's second goal, Leonard, the County centre-forward,
also getting a clear course. Walker came out to meet him, but
Leonard drove the ball past the custodian and it went into the
net from the crossbar.
"It looked as if City were in for a severe beating, but the players
never lost heart and were invariably hovering in the vicinity
of the County goal. Speirs made a bad mess of one great chance,
but City nevertheless succeeded in drawing level two minutes before
the interval. Their first goal was the best of the match. Foley
sent Price away on the right and Price flashed the ball into the
centre, where it was met by Edmondson running at top speed. Without
hesitation Edmondson let drive with a terrific rising shot, the
ball crashing against the underside of the crossbar and going
"Edmondson was nearly in again a minute later. He forced a corner,
and this led to the equaliser. George Law took the kick instead
of Price and placed the ball so well that Speirs headed past Lawrence,
the custodian getting his hand to the ball, but failing to hold
it. The enthusiasm of the crowd was naturally great at these successes,
but their joy was quickly damped, for two minutes later Walker,
the young City custodian, let a simple shot from Moore slip through
his hands. Thus the County led by the odd goal in five at
"Only six minutes of the second half had elapsed when Walker
again caused consternation in the City camp by allowing a long
ground shot from Baker, the County outside-left, to again slip
through his hands. City nevertheless continued to play up pluckily
and Lawrence was frequently tested, but refused to be beaten.
"The issue was placed out of doubt eight minutes from the end,
when Derby County scored again, Leonard getting a good goal at
close range from a centre by Baker. City got a curious goal in
the last minute, during a scrimmage, the ball cannoning off Sharpe's
arm into the net. The Derby players appealed for a free kick,
but Mr Pearson allowed a goal, a very questionable decision.
"One of the disappointing features of the match was that Walker,
the young county cricketer, should fail to do himself justice
in the City goal in his first big match before the home crowd.
He had shaped well on the occasion of his League debut in the
match against The Arsenal at Highbury on the previous Saturday,
but he must now have been seized with a bad attack of nerves.
"It may be that he was upset by the two early goals scored by
Derby County, for which he was in no way to blame; but, no doubt,
he is still marvelling to himself how he missed stopping the shots
which secured the third and fourth goal. With a little more experience,
however, I feel convinced that Walker will make a first rate custodian.
"The experiment of playing Price and McLeod on the right wing
was not quite a success, as neither player was at his best, though
Price had a share in the first goal. Edmondson, the young centre-forward,
shaped well and that great opening goal he scored stamped him
as an opportunist. He looks like making a name for himself. Speirs
and Sharpe were clever on the left wing."
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Undeterred by the defeat, the fifth in succession, which left
them seventeenth in the table, City came
back to form a week later, winning 1-0 at Lincoln City.
The home team were unbeaten since November, but the Peacocks
outclassed them. Hampson and Jackson were restored to the team
and Ernie Goodwin returned for his first appearance since the
end of November, though he was now on the right flank.
The Yorkshire Post reported that Leeds "were not so frequently
in front of goal as their opponents, but there was more polish
about their methods, and Butler, the home custodian, had more
dangerous shots to negotiate than Walker."
Sharpe was the most threatening of the Leeds forwards and early
on the Lincoln keeper was relieved to concede a corner after saving
a shot from the amateur.
Leeds took the lead after seven minutes. Edmondson capitalised
on Goodwin's cross to fire home the opening goal, which turned
out to be the only score of the afternoon.
Lincoln fought hard to get back on terms and Egerton shot against
the bar with Walker beaten; the same player rounded the keeper
before losing possession and seeing Blackman clear.
Just before the interval, Edmondson netted again after getting
past the Lincoln custodian but saw his effort ruled out for offside.
The Peacocks' defence was resolute in the second half and successfully
kept out the Lincoln forward line to secure a much needed victory.
City built on that success by beating Birmingham 2-0 at Elland
Road on 27 February with goals from Jackson and Price. It was
a notable achievement for the Midlanders were pressing hard for
In the week that followed, Leeds City tendered the club's resignation
from the Midland League so that the reserve team could play instead
in the more suitable Central League competition. They successfully
applied for admission two months later and in accordance with
regulations Herbert Chapman resigned from the Central League management
On 6 March a City team unchanged for the third successive game
triumphed by 5-2 at Grimsby.
Cestus in the Leeds Mercury: "Leeds City recorded a great success
at Grimsby, when they claimed five of the seven goals scored in
a game which was quite one of the most exciting seen at Blundell
Park this winter.
"On the run of the play Leeds City were fortunate to win by so
decisive a margin, for Grimsby did much more attacking than the
visitors, and the success was due primarily to a wonderful display
of goalkeeping by Walker - who must have broken the hearts of
the Town attackers by the uncanny manner in which he seemed to
anticipate the strength and angle of their shots - and by the
power of the forwards to keep their heads and shoot with judgement
when chances did come their way.
"To say that Grimsby did three fourths of the forcing work is
but to give them their due, but their work, though fiercely energetic
at times, was deficient in style and polish. At close quarters,
too, they lacked confidence. Walker was given opportunities to
save balls which, had the opening been used properly, he never
ought to have had a chance with. Still that was Grimsby's look
out. The custodian made no mistake if the attackers did.
"In striking contrast was the finishing power of the Leeds raiders.
They may have advanced to Grimsby's end a dozen times in the course
of the game - certainly not more - and yet they made five goals!
The shooting was quite deadly. One could not wish to see anything
more workmanlike than the first time shots with which Jackson
and Sharpe scored their respective goals, while as every forward
in the line helped himself to a point it is obvious that every
man was equal to opportunity when it waited upon him.
"Sharpe and Price were the better wing. The amateur was much
too speedy for the Town defenders. Edmondson was seen to advantage
as a distributor in the first half, but he sustained a kick which
caused him to limp, and to be subdued in the second stage. Jackson
was always good, while Goodwin showed ability to keep his head
cool and his feet busy when a mistake by Arrowsmith allowed him
to cut in for goal and score.
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"The middle men were a sounder trio than the home line. Foley
was the cleverest, but Hampson was a great worker. Blackman was
the better back, but the outstanding man of the defence was Walker."
A week later a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield courtesy of a goal
from Ivan Sharpe took City up to a season's high of twelfth place,
ten points clear of the re-election zone and getting close to
securing their Second Division status.
A crowd of 12,000, the highest at Elland Road all season, witnessed
a lacklustre game in which Huddersfield rarely threatened a goal.
City were not much better, though they did dominate possession.
The Terriers defence performed admirably in difficult circumstances
and denied the Leeds forwards on a number of occasions.
The Peacocks gave a better performance at Bristol City on 20
March, but were defeated by a single goal, scored right at the
end of the first half. The Yorkshire Post claimed that "a draw
would better have represented the play, for the visitors were
quite as good a side as Bristol though fortune did not befriend
Goals from McLeod and Price were enough to secure a 2-1 victory
at Elland Road against Bury on 27 March, with all the goals coming
in the first half hour of the game. The victory all but guaranteed
City would retain their Second Division status, though one more
point was needed to be mathematically assured.
That left City with little to play for in their remaining six
games and there was little surprise when they lost 2-0 at second-placed
Preston on 3 April. Nevertheless they started the game well and
should have taken the lead in the first fifteen minutes, but Sharpe
sent the ball over the bar when faced with an open goal. Preston
opened the scoring three minutes later, but had to wait until
the closing minutes before adding to their score.
That same afternoon, a startling 5-4 victory by Leicester Fosse
against Stockport County meant that the Fosse retained the slimmest
of chances of catching Leeds, but when the East Midlanders lost
1-0 at Derby County two days later the result confirmed City's
Second Division future.
It was just as well, for the Peacocks were hammered 5-1 at Wolverhampton
that day. Twenty-four hours later the same two teams met at Elland
Road and the Wanderers emerged victorious once more, but it was
a rather closer affair with Leeds going down by the odd goal in
Further evidencing their chronic inconsistency, City snapped
back to winning ways with an emphatic 4-0 defeat of Nottingham
Forest on 10 April after three successive defeats.
Arthur Price scored three of the goals, the first after just
eight minutes with a low drive. He added his second in similar
style midway through the first half and completed his hat trick
five minutes after the break. Ivan Sharpe scored a fourth, atoning
for some wayward shooting earlier in the contest. The victory
could have been even greater: George Law saw his penalty saved
by Forest keeper Powell.
Inevitably, a tremendous win was followed by just as one-sided
a reverse the following week, with Leicester earning revenge for
their 7-2 defeat at Elland Road in December by hammering City
JTS in the Mercury: "It was a very remarkable game, in which
a team of far greater talent and football ability was hopelessly
outclassed by what would be an inferior side under anything like
ordinary conditions. The Fosse team as a whole is a very light
one and the forwards, in consequence of their lack of stamina,
are generally no match for a side of greater weight, especially
when the turf is damp and holding. But on Saturday the conditions
were not those which generally prevail at football. The ground
was hard, fast and true, but at the same time no one imagined
that this factor would prove so great a drawback to a side of
the speed and resource of Leeds City.
"The crack was a sudden and deep one, for after twenty minutes'
play, the Fosse began to make
rings round the City defence, so that Walker in goal had quite
a lot of very hard work to do. The City goalkeeper, too, seemed
to be upset by the rapidity with which the attacks were developed,
and the fast drives which were fired at him from all angles. Then
he fell into temptation.
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"A Fosse forward centred the ball into that zone of danger which
lies behind the backs, and yet well in front of the goalkeeper.
Walker went for the ball, but as he was on his journey, the ball
was popped over his head into the tenantless goal. Then Walker
failed to hold a low, fast drive from Douglas, and the ball passed
between his legs for goal number two. A minute or two later King
walked past with the ball as Walker lay prone on the ground. These
three goals were scored in six minutes.
"Leeds could not get going, and their fancy movements, their
openings, and all the other ornamental drapery were of no avail
on a hard, true surface. Before half time Leicester added yet
another goal, and as Leeds could not score on their own, one of
the Leicester backs presented them with a goal by deflecting the
ball against one of the uprights. At the interval the score was
4 to 1 in favour of the home side.
"In the second half Leeds City could do nothing right; they hit
the crossbar often, and forced many corners all in vain. The Fosse,
on the other hand, added yet another to their substantial total.
That is the story of a very remarkable match."
City completed their campaign on 24 April with a drab 2-0 defeat
at home to Barnsley. The South Yorkshire team were always the
masters on the day, with Willis Walker earning a man of the match
rating for his goalkeeping display, denying Barnsley an even higher
Joe Green, a local recruit,
was given his debut at left-back, and he was culpable for the
first goal after five minutes. In attempting to clear a low drive
from Lees, Green saw his kick charged down by Fletcher, and the
ball rebounded into the net.
That setback knocked the stuffing out of City and they rarely
looked like getting back on terms, conceding again on the half
hour. They rallied a little in the second half but were always
the inferior side, seeing out a disappointing season with a feeble
On a positive note, Billy McLeod's 18 League goals made him the
club's leading goalscorer for the ninth successive season since
joining City from Lincoln, a tribute to the centre-forward's astonishing
consistency. His record in the League for City now stood at 163
goals from 281 appearances, with a further six goals in 12 Cup
Leeds finished fifteenth, victims of the appalling inconsistency
that had dogged them all year. The onset of war had left little
incentive for the winning of promotion, as it was almost certainly
going to be the final season of normal competitive football. This
brought with it plummeting attendances and a consequent lack of
In March, the Football Association decreed that no wages were
to be paid to professional footballers between May and July, and
that the maximum weekly wage was reduced from £4 to £3. A transfer
embargo was put in place until August.
In April, FA secretary Fred Wall revealed there was unlikely
to be any Cup-ties or League matches played in 1915/16, basing
his conclusions on the action of the FA Council in deciding to
defer consideration of dates for Cup competitions and international
matches and agreeing that the future action of the Council should
by developments in the War.
Wall added that in 1914 there had been large financial barriers
to such an action as contracts had been made with players, landlords
and building contractors, involving about £750,000. This rendered
any suspension of games in 1914/15 impossible, the war coming
so unexpectedly in August, after all arrangements had been finalised.
Although competitive games only normally began in September,
the engagement of players was effective from May. For 1915/16
matters would be different: no agreements with players would be
There was consequently little to look forward to that spring
for Leeds City, as outlined by the Yorkshire Evening Post towards
the end of April: "The end of a very unsatisfactory football season
will find practically every League club in the Football Association
and the Northern Rugby League much worse off financially than
it was at the beginning of the season. Leeds City, Hunslet and
Bramley have all been on the parish, in other words they have
found it necessary to apply to the League Relief Fund for assistance.
Leeds City have indeed found it very difficult to continue, and
now that their season has ended it is a matter of great concern
for the Receiver for the debenture holders (Mr
Tom Coombs) and the directors how to keep the club afloat
until another period of activity comes along after the War."
That particular problem was to be eased a few months later, but
Elland Road in the summer of 1915 was a very depressed environment.
Part 1 Ravaged by war - Part
2 Ten years in the making - Results
and table - printer
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