1889–90 Football Alliance

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Football Alliance
Season 1889–90
Champions The Wednesday
Dropped out Long Eaton Rangers
Matches played 131
Goals scored 652 (4.98 per match)

The 1889–90 Football Alliance was the first season of the Football Alliance, an association football league which was set up in England as an alternative to The Football League, which had begun in the 1888–89 season. A proposal that the Football League be expanded to 24 teams was rejected, so a new league was formed to cater for those excluded. Twelve clubs were accepted for membership,[1] the same number as in the Football League, and they were drawn from a similar geographical area, stretching from the Midlands to the North West, but also further east in Sheffield, Grimsby and Sunderland.[2]

Two points were awarded for a win and one point for a draw, each team played every other team once at home and once away from home. The Wednesday were the first champions; after hitting an eight match winning run which started in November, they found themselves at the top of the league by the end of December, and remained there for the rest of the season. Long Eaton Rangers finished last out of the 12 clubs and dropped out to join the Midland Football League.[2]

Final league table[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 The Wednesday 22 15 2 5 70 39 +31 32 Football Alliance Champions
2 Bootle 22 13 2 7 66 39 +27 28
3 Sunderland Albion 21 12 2 7 64 39 +25 028[3]
4 Grimsby Town 22 12 2 8 58 47 +11 26
5 Crewe Alexandra 22 11 2 9 68 59 +9 24
6 Darwen 22 10 2 10 70 75 −5 22
7 Birmingham St George's 21 9 3 9 62 49 +13 021[3]
8 Newton Heath 22 9 2 11 40 44 −4 20
9 Walsall Town Swifts 22 8 3 11 44 59 −15 19
10 Small Heath 22 6 5 11 44 67 −23 17
11 Nottingham Forest 22 6 5 11 31 62 −31 17
12 Long Eaton Rangers[4] 22 4 2 16 35 73 −38 10 Dropped out

Source: [2]
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Results[edit]

The results shown here are those of only Newton Heath,[5] Nottingham Forest,[6] Small Heath,[7] The Wednesday,[2] and a few of Darwen.[8]

Home \ Away[1] BSG BOO CRE DRW GRI LER NWH NOT SMH SUA WAL WED
Birmingham St George's 5–1 2–0 7–3 3–3 2–1 5–1 1–3 4–1 5–3 0–2
Bootle 5–1 5–1 4–1 2–0 6–0 4–1
Crewe Alexandra 4–2 7–3 3–5 7–4 2–2 1–1 6–2 2–3 2–0
Darwen 3–2 3–0 4–1 9–0 4–2 0–2 6–3 4–3
Grimsby Town 4–1 7–0 4–0 4–0 0–4
Long Eaton Rangers 1–5 1–2 0–3 5–3 0–2 2–0
Newton Heath 2–1 3–0 1–2 2–1 0–1 3–0 0–1 9–1 4–1 2–1 1–2
Nottingham Forest 2–2 2–2 2–5 3–1 1–2 1–1 1–3 0–0 3–1 3–0 1–3
Small Heath 3–2 2–2 0–2 6–2 3–1 3–1 1–1 12–0 1–3 0–2 2–2
Sunderland Albion 5–1 5–1 2–0 4–0 6–1 2–3
Walsall Town Swifts 2–1 3–4 5–3 4–0 1–3 1–1 2–2
The Wednesday 0–5 2–1 6–4 4–1 4–3 9–1 3–1 3–1 9–1 4–1 4–0

Source: see references
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Stadia and locations[edit]

Team Location Stadium Stadium capacity
Birmingham St George's Birmingham Cape Hill[9]
Bootle Bootle Hawthorne Road
Crewe Alexandra Crewe Alexandra Recreation Ground[10]
Darwen Darwen Barley Bank 12,500[11]
Grimsby Town Grimsby Abbey Park[12] 10,000
Newton Heath Newton Heath North Road 12,000
Nottingham Forest Nottingham Gregory Ground, Lenton[13]
Small Heath Birmingham Coventry Road[14]
Sunderland Albion Sunderland Blue House Field, Hendon[15]
Walsall Town Swifts Walsall The Chuckery[16]
The Wednesday Sheffield Olive Grove[17]
Long Eaton Rangers Long Eaton Recreation Ground[18]

The Football League election process[edit]

At the Football League election meeting no vote was taken, but it was agreed that Burnley and Notts County were re-elected to the Football League and that Sunderland was elected to join the League in place of Stoke, who would play in the Football Alliance the following season.

The applications of Football Alliance sides Bootle, Darwen, Grimsby Town, Newton Heath and Sunderland Albion to join the League were rejected.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Cover-point' (14 May 1889). "Cricket & Football Notes". Sheffield & Rotherham Independent. p. 8. The rejected applicants for admission to the Football League did not lose much time in making other arrangements, which have resulted in the formation of another league under the title of the Football Alliance. This entirely destroys the badly managed Football Combination of last season, and also seriously interferes with the proposed organisation of the Northern and Midland Counties Leagues. 
  2. ^ a b c d "1889–90". The Owl Football Historian. Andrew Drake. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Sunderland Albion's point total includes two points awarded after Birmingham St George's refused to fulfil a fixture against them which had been ordered to be replayed by the management committee.
  4. ^ Dropped out of the Football Alliance to join the Midland League.
  5. ^ "Newton Heath 1889/90". footballsite.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Nottingham Forest 1889/90". footballsite.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Small Heath 1889/90". footballsite.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Calvy, Jack. "Darwen Football Club: Early years – part 3". Darwen Royal British Legion. Archived from the original on 21 March 2005. 
  9. ^ Greenslade, M.W. (ed.); Baggs, A.P.; Baugh, G.C. & Johnston, D.A. (1976). "Smethwick: Social life". A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 17: Offlow hundred (part). Victoria County History. pp. 134–136. Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Inglis, Simon (1996) [1985]. Football Grounds of Britain (3rd ed.). London: CollinsWillow. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-00-218426-7. 
  11. ^ "Barley Bank". Darwen F.C. Archived from the original on 12 December 2005. 
  12. ^ Inglis, p. 176.
  13. ^ Inglis, p. 273.
  14. ^ Inglis, p. 44.
  15. ^ Inglis, p. 350.
  16. ^ Inglis, p. 376.
  17. ^ Inglis, p. 326.
  18. ^ "The Football Alliance. Long Eaton Rangers v. Crewe Alexandra". The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent. 23 September 1889. p. 7. 
  19. ^ "Football Alliance 1889/90". footballsite.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2014.