Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional association football club based in Sheffield, England. The team competes in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Formed as an offshoot of The Wednesday Cricket Club in 1867, in 1868 they won the Cromwell Cup, only the second tournament of its kind, and in 1877 they won the inaugural Sheffield Challenge Cup, the oldest county cup in England. They were founding members and inaugural champions of the Football Alliance in 1889, in 1992 they became founder members of the Premier League. The club has spent most of its history in English footballs top flight. The Owls, as they are nicknamed, have won four league titles, Wednesday have also competed in UEFA cup competitions on four occasions, reaching the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1963. Since 1899 the club has played its matches at Hillsborough stadium. Although no contemporary evidence has found to support the claim. Nevertheless, an 1842 article in Bells Life magazine states the club was founded as far back as 1816, the club was so named because it was on Wednesdays that the founding members had their day off work. They were initially based at the New Ground in Darnall, and often went by the name of Darnall Wednesday, in 1855 they were one of six clubs that helped build Bramall Lane, and held a wicket there for many years. The proposal proved very popular, with over 60 members signing up for the new team on the first night and they played their first match against The Mechanics on 19 October the same year, winning by three goals and four rouges to nil. On 1 February 1868, Wednesday played their first competitive match as they entered the Cromwell Cup. A week after their semi-final, they went on to win the cup, beating the Garrick club in the final after extra time, a key figure during the formative years of the football club was Charles Clegg, who joined the Wednesday in 1867. His relationship with the club lasted for the rest of his life and he also became president and chairman of the Football Association, and was known as the Napoleon of Football. In 1876 Wednesday acquired Scot James Lang, although he was not employed by the club, he was given a job by a member of the Sheffield Wednesday board that had no formal duties. He is now acknowledged as the first professional player in England. With Lang in their team the club became one of the strongest in the region. In 1880 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, but although they had had Lang on their books a decade earlier, the club officially remained staunchly amateur, and this stance almost cost the club its very existence
Brian Laws is an English former footballer who was most recently the manager of Scunthorpe United. Playing as a defender, Laws made over 100 appearances for each of Burnley, Middlesbrough, in 1994, Laws became player-manager of Grimsby Town before taking a similar position with Scunthorpe United in 1997. For the next nine years, Laws served as manager of Scunthorpe, Wednesday later struggled with financial problems and he was dismissed in December 2009 after a poor run of results. He was dismissed by the club in December that year, Laws returned to manage Scunthorpe United in 2012 only to be dismissed in November 2013. Born in Wallsend, Northumberland, Laws began playing football at the famous Wallsend Boys Club, aged 17 he signed his first professional contract with Burnley, joining the club as an apprentice. Over the following four seasons he made 181 appearances for the club and, despite his defensive role, two years later Laws was sold again, moving to Middlesbrough for £30,000. However, the finances were not strong, and when Nottingham Forest offered £120,000 for his contract in 1988 Middlesbrough sold him to the Trentside club. However, they were saved from closure the following month and Laws remained part of the team who won promotion in the two seasons to take them from the Third Division to the First. Laws was part of Brian Cloughs successful Nottingham Forest team for six seasons and he is sometimes credited as Forests second-best right-back of all time behind regular England international Viv Anderson. During this time he won the League Cup twice and was runner up in the League Cup, Cloughs first words to his new signing were Ive never seen you play, son, Im going on the recommendation of Ronnie Fenton. So if youre crap, Ronnie signed you, if youre good, I signed you. Laws was at Forest at the time of Hillsborough disaster in the 1989 FA Cup semi final, the originally scheduled fixture had to be abandoned early in the game due to fans being fatally crushed in the Leppings Lane terracing. In the rescheduled fixture, Laws scored an own goal, the game ended 3-1 to Liverpool, Laws started his management career at Grimsby Town in 1994, replacing Alan Buckley who had moved to West Bromwich Albion. Laws management of Town was initially successful, but deteriorated after he clashed with Grimsby player Ivano Bonetti, Laws reportedly threw a plate of chicken wings at the Italian following a 3–2 defeat at Luton Town in February 1996. Laws was dismissed by Grimsby after a start to the 96–97 season. He then had a spell as a player with Darlington before taking charge of Scunthorpe United. At Scunthorpe Laws achieved promotion twice, in 1999 and 2005 respectively and he was dismissed by the club in March 2004 but was reinstated three weeks later, leading them to promotion the following season. After nearly 10 years at Scunthorpe Laws left the club in November 2006 to take over the job at Sheffield Wednesday
Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England has been the home ground of Sheffield Wednesday F. C. since opening in 1899. It is a 39,732 capacity stadium, making it the largest club ground in England outside of the Premier League until Newcastle United and it is located in the Sheffield suburb of Owlerton. Although the ground has received little investment since Euro 1996, it is regarded as a beautiful ground oozing character. It has two large two-tiered stands and two large single-tiered stands, all of them covered, all four stands are of a similar capacity with the South Stand being the largest and the West stand the smallest. Only one corner of the ground is filled, between the West and North Stands and this area, known as the North West corner, is uncovered and is only used for visiting supporters when the West Stands upper and lower tiers are full. On the other corner of the West Stand is a screen which was installed in 2015. On 15 April 1989, the ground was the scene of the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death at an FA Cup semi-final. Plans by the club to renovate the stadium and expand capacity to 44,825 have been approved by Sheffield City Council with the aim of hosting World Cup matches. The playing surface has been upgraded to a Desso GrassMaster including a replacement of the Under-soil heating. The stadium previously played host to World Cup and European Championship football in 1966 and 1996 respectively, during the 1898–99 season Sheffield Wednesday were told that the land rented at Olive Grove would be needed for railway expansions. They were allowed to remain there for the rest of season but had to find a new ground for the next season. Several locations were considered but fell through for various reasons, an alternative was offered by the Midland Railway Company but it did not meet the requirements of the club. Finally James Willis Dixon of Hillsborough House, owner of the Silversmiths James Dixon & Sons, offered a 10-acre site at Owlerton, the land was part of the Hillsborough House estate which was being sold off by the Dixons. It was successfully bought for £5,000 plus costs, soil was dumped at both ends of the ground to level out the ground which was initially meadowland covered with dandelions. The 2,000 capacity stand at Olive Grove was then transported to the new site and was joined by a newly constructed 3,000 capacity stand for the start of the next season, the first match to be played was on 2 September 1899 against Chesterfield. The match was kicked off by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield William Clegg and it was a Chesterfield player, Herbert Munday, who scored the first goal at the new stadium but Wednesday came back to win the game 5–1. Despite the location of the several miles outside the city boundaries. The ground was known as the Owlerton Stadium until 1914, when it was renamed Hillsborough to coincide with a series of ground improvements, the ground took its new name from the newly created parliamentary constituency
The English Football League Championship is the highest division of the English Football League and second-highest overall in the English football league system, after the Premier League. Each year, the top finishing teams in the Championship are promoted to the Premier League, the Football League Championship, which was introduced for the 2004–05 season, was previously known as the Football League First Division, and before that was known as Division Two. The winners of the Championship receive the Football League Championship trophy, the Championship is the wealthiest non-top flight football division in the world and the seventh richest division in Europe. With an average attendance for the 2015-16 season of 17,578. Bundesliga as the secondary league in the world. In the 2015–16 season, Burnley were the champions, Middlesbrough were the runners up. At present, Ipswich Town hold the longest tenure in the Championship, the total figures were aided somewhat by the presence of 24 clubs, compared to 20 clubs in both Serie A and Ligue 1, and 18 in the Bundesliga. A major factor to the success comes from television revenue. On 30 September 2009, Coca-Cola announced they would end their deal with The Football League at the end of the 2009–10 season. On 18 July 2013, UK bookmaker Sky Bet announced that signed a 5-year agreement to sponsor the league. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, the teams are ranked in the league table by points gained, then goal difference, then goals scored and then their head-to-head record for that season. At the end of the season, the top two teams and the winner of the Championship play-offs are promoted to the Premier League and the three teams are relegated to Football League One. The Football League Championship play-offs is a competition for the teams finishing the season in third to sixth place with the winner being promoted to the Premier League. In the play-offs, the team plays against the sixth-placed team. The winners of each semi-final then compete in a match with the prize being promotion to the Premier League. From 2009 to 2012, Sky Sports had the rights to broadcast 65 live matches, the BBC had the rights to show 10 first choice live games for the regular season as well as the rights to show a highlight show. The deal is on a contract and is worth £264m that will mostly be paid by Sky. The deal included 75 live league games, all the matches,15 League Cup ties
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
The EFL Cup, or simply the League Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in mens domestic English football. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top domestic competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup. It concludes in February, long before the two, which end in May. It was introduced by the league as a response to the popularity of European football. It also took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games, with the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup from the 2016–17 season onwards. The tournament is played over seven rounds, with single leg ties throughout, the final is held at Wembley Stadium, it is the only tie in the competition played at a neutral venue and on a weekend. Entrants are seeded in the rounds, and a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in later rounds. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one also being the original, the current holders are Manchester United, who beat Southampton 3–2 in the 2017 final to win their fifth League Cup. Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition. Many of the top English sides, Arsenal and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wengers claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as a pot worth winning. The original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs who had already knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous who came to implement it, the re-organisation of the league was not immediately forthcoming, however, the cup competition was introduced regardless. The trophy was paid for personally by Football League President Joe Richards, Richards was proud of the competition, Richards described the competitions formation as an interim step on the way to the leagues re-organisation. I hope the Press will not immediately assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else, the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game. The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling, the league had lost 1 million spectators compared to the previous season. It was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high, the biggest disagreement was how revenue was shared between the clubs. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights and this opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter