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The Leaguers

The Making of Professional Football in England, 1900-1939

The Leaguers by Matthew Taylor
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The Leaguers offers the first ever examination of the politics of the early football world, from struggles over the finances of the game and the treatment of players to campaigns to popularise football on a national and international basis. The basic features of professional football in Britain as we knew it for most of the twentieth century were established in the period between the death of Queen Victoria and the beginning of the Second World War. This book looks at the individuals, groups and social forces which contributed to the making of modern football by focusing on the game’s most important organisation – the Football League.

The League reflected the society in which it emerged. Its ethos and policies were those of a nation which was becoming increasingly centralised, unified and democratic. Yet the men who ran professional football in England cast the game with a parochialism, an insularity and an arrogant sense of superiority which has persisted to the present day. The Leaguers is the first study to concentrate exclusively on the history of professional football and on the Football League as its governing body. Based on a wealth of new archival material from clubs, unions and football’s governing bodies, The Leaguers sets many of the controversial issues of the contemporary game – the relations between wealthy and poorer clubs, the role of the media, the levels of players’ pay, the ‘club versus country’ debate – in a historical setting.

Liverpool University Press; Read online
Title: The Leaguers
Author: Matthew Taylor

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