The Leaguers: The Making of Professional Football in England, 1900-1939

By Matthew Taylor | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
Players I:
Employment Conditions

Contemporary observers as well as historians have regarded the peculiar employment conditions within the Football League as somehow unique in British industrial relations. In particular, the twin pillars of the League structure – the retain-and-transfer system and the maximum wage – have been seen as tantamount to a form of wage slavery, denying the player the basic freedom enjoyed by any other employee to leave his or her employment when s/he liked, and to sell his or her labour to the highest bidder. Players' Union secretary Syd Owen remarked in 1912 that 'the professional player is the slave of the club and they can do practically anything they want with him'; decades later, in his autobiography, Jimmy Guthrie, a successor of Owen's, referred to the footballer as 'a bondsman, a serf, a slave'.1 The historian Nicholas Fishwick, meanwhile, chose to describe professional footballers in the first half of the twentieth century as 'obedient servants'.2 Yet this emphasis on player acquiescence and the master–servant relationship not only provides a rather distorted and partial picture of the complex ways in which the labour market operated until the Second World War, but also has the effect of isolating the experience of employees in the football industry from wider social developments. Hence a dominant theme of this and the next chapter will be the trend towards what Mike Savage and Andrew Miles have described as 'the bureaucratisation of the labour market' from the late Victorian era onwards.3 In the Football League this took the form of the gradual development of central regulation and formal control over conditions relating to the employment, pay, movement, discipline, standards and welfare of players. Moreover, we need to recognise that the most immediate employment relationship – between player and club – was in fact cross-cut by a complex and often contradictory set of connections involving the player, the Players' Union, the club, the FA and the Football League executive.

This chapter focuses on four important areas of the employment of League footballers: the recruitment of players and their movement

-84-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Leaguers: The Making of Professional Football in England, 1900-1939
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 320

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.