Middlesbrough Football Club is a professional association football club based in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. They are competing in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since 1995, their third ground since turning professional in 1889, they played at the Linthorpe Road ground from 1882 to 1903 and at Ayresome Park for 92 years, from 1903 to 1995. They were one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992 and became one of the first clubs to be relegated from it following the 1992–93 season; the club came close to folding in 1986 after experiencing severe financial difficulties before it was saved by a consortium led by board member and chairman Steve Gibson. The club's main rivals are Newcastle United. There is a rivalry with fellow Yorkshire club Leeds United. Middlesbrough won the League Cup in the club's first and only major trophy, they were beaten by Spanish side Sevilla. The club's highest league finish to date was third in the 1913–14 season and they have only spent two seasons outside the Football League's top two divisions.
The League Cup win and the UEFA Cup run was part of an 11-year consecutive stay in the Premier League, before a relegation in 2009. Although the club returned in 2016, instant relegation followed; the club's traditional kit is red with white detailing. The various crests throughout the club's history, the most recent of, adopted in 2007, incorporate a lion rampant, they won the FA Amateur Cup in 1895 and again in 1898. The club turned professional in 1889, but reverted to amateur status in 1892, they turned professional permanently in 1899. After three seasons, they won promotion to the First Division, where they would remain for the next 22 years. In 1903, the club moved to their home for the next 92 years. In 1905, the club sanctioned the transfer of Alf Common for £1,000, a record fee. Over the next few years, their form fluctuated rising to sixth in 1907–08 before dropping to 17th two seasons later; the club rose to their highest league finish to date, third, in 1913–14. World War I soon intervened and football was suspended.
Before league football resumed, Middlesbrough won the Northern Victory League, but the team were unable to maintain their previous form and finished the 1919–20 season in mid-table. They remained in the First Division for the next few seasons, but were relegated in 1923–24 after finishing bottom, 10 points adrift of their nearest rivals. Three seasons they won the Division Two title. During that season, debutant George Camsell, who had signed from Third Division North side Durham City the previous season, finished with a record 59 league goals, which included nine hat-tricks, he would continue as top scorer for each of the next 10 seasons. Their tenure back in the top flight lasted only one season, the club were relegated, they were promoted at the first attempt in 1928–29, winning another Second Division title. The club remained in the First Division until 1954; the decade before the war saw the emergence of Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick, both of whom would go on to become England internationals in the years ahead.
Middlesbrough climbed to fourth in the last full season before World War II and were expected to challenge for the title next season, but the war intervened. After the war, the club was unable to recover the form of the previous seasons and hovered around mid-table and exited in the early rounds of the FA Cup. Soon afterwards, the team began to falter suffering relegation in 1953–54; this was the start of a 20-year spell outside the top division, but saw the emergence of one of the club's top goalscorers, Brian Clough, who scored 204 goals in 222 games, before he left for Sunderland. Over that period, Middlesbrough maintained reasonable progress in the Second Division but were never serious contenders for promotion. After a fourth-place finish in 1962–63, the club endured a steady decline and were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history in 1966. New manager Stan Anderson returned the club to the second flight at the first attempt. Middlesbrough would not finish below ninth during the next eight seasons.
By 1974, Jack Charlton had guided the team back to the top flight. They ensured promotion as early as 23 March, with eight games of the season left, they became runaway champions, finishing with a record 65 points. Middlesbrough won their first silverware as a professional side in the 1975–76 season, lifting the Anglo-Scottish Cup in its inaugural season after a two-legged final win over Fulham; the club experienced severe financial difficulties during the mid-1980s. Middlesbrough were dropping down the table, finished 19th in the 1984–85 season. In April 1986, the club had to borrow £30,000 from the Professional Footballers' Association to pay wages; the final game of the season saw Middlesbrough relegated to the Third Division again. That summer, the club called in the Provisional Liquidator and shortly afterwards, the club was wound up and the gates to Ayresome Park were padlocked. Without the £350,000 capital required for Football League registration, a new rule, it seemed inevitable that the club would fold permanently.
Steve Gibson, however, a member of the board at the time, brought together a consortium, with 10 minutes to spare before the deadline they completed their registration with the Football League for the 1986–87 season. Following the registration came both a change of club crest and a change of the official company name to Middlesbrough Football and Athletic Club Ltd. Over the next two seasons, Middlesbrough gained successive promotions into Division Two and into Division One; the nex
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed "the Red Devils", the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won more trophies than any other club in English football, with a record 20 League titles, 12 FA Cups, 5 League Cups and a record 21 FA Community Shields. United have won three UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Europa League, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the club became the first in the history of English football to achieve the continental European treble. By winning the UEFA Europa League in 2016–17, they became one of five clubs to have won all three main UEFA club competitions; the 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players.
In 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies as manager, including 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, between 1986 and 2013, when he announced his retirement. Manchester United was the highest-earning football club in the world for 2016–17, with an annual revenue of €676.3 million, the world's most valuable football club in 2018, valued at £3.1 billion. As of June 2015, it is the world's most valuable football brand, estimated to be worth $1.2 billion. After being floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1991, the club was purchased by Malcolm Glazer in May 2005 in a deal valuing the club at £800 million, after which the company was taken private again, before going public once more in August 2012, when they made an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Manchester United is one of the most supported football clubs in the world, has rivalries with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United.
Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. The team played games against other departments and railway companies, but on 20 November 1880, they competed in their first recorded match. By 1888, the club had become a founding member of a regional football league. Following the league's dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance, which ran for three seasons before being merged with the Football League; this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the "LYR" from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division. In January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £280,000 in 2019 – the club was served with a winding-up order. Captain Harry Stafford found four local businessmen, including John Henry Davies, each willing to invest £500 in return for a direct interest in running the club and who subsequently changed the name.
Under Ernest Mangnall, who assumed managerial duties in 1903, the team finished as Second Division runners-up in 1906 and secured promotion to the First Division, which they won in 1908 – the club's first league title. The following season began with victory in the first Charity Shield and ended with the club's first FA Cup title. Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, where it remained until regaining promotion in 1925. Relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Following the death of principal benefactor John Henry Davies in October 1927, the club's finances deteriorated to the extent that Manchester United would have gone bankrupt had it not been for James W. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000 and assumed control of the club.
In the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. In October 1945, the impending resumption of football led to the managerial appointment of Matt Busby, who demanded an unprecedented level of control over team selection, player transfers and training sessions. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947, 1948 and 1949, to FA Cup victory in 1948. In 1952, the club won its first league title for 41 years, they won back-to-back league titles in 1956 and 1957. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season. En route to the semi-final, which they lost to Real Madrid, the team recorded a 10–0 victory over Belgian champions Anderlecht, which remains the club's biggest victory on record; the following season, on the way home from a European Cup quarter-final victory against Red Star Belgrade, the aircraft carrying the Manchester United players and journalists crashed while attempting to take off after refuelling in Munich, Germany.
Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson is a Scottish former football manager and player who managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013. He is considered one of the greatest and most successful managers of all time. Ferguson played as a forward including Dunfermline Athletic and Rangers. While playing for Dunfermline, he was the top goalscorer in the Scottish league in the 1965–66 season. Towards the end of his playing career he worked as a coach started his managerial career with East Stirlingshire and St Mirren. Ferguson enjoyed a successful period as manager of Aberdeen, winning three Scottish league championships, four Scottish Cups and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1983, he managed Scotland following the death of Jock Stein, taking the team to the 1986 World Cup. Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986. During his 26 years with Manchester United he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two UEFA Champions League titles, he was knighted in the 1999 Queen's Birthday Honours list for his services to the game.
Ferguson is the longest-serving manager of Manchester United, having overtaken Sir Matt Busby's record on 19 December 2010. He retired from management at the end of the 2012–13 season, having won the Premier League in his final season. Born to Alexander Beaton Ferguson, a plater's helper in the shipbuilding industry, his wife, Alex Chapman Ferguson was born at his grandmother's home on Shieldhall Road in Govan on 31 December 1941, but grew up in a tenement at 667 Govan Road, where he lived with his parents as well as his younger brother Martin. Ferguson attended Broomloan Road Primary School and Govan High School, he began his football career with Harmony Row Boys Club in Govan, before progressing to Drumchapel Amateurs, a youth club with a strong reputation for producing senior footballers. Ferguson's playing career began as an amateur with Queen's Park, where he made his debut as a striker, aged 16, he described his first match as a "nightmare", but scored Queen's Park's goal in a 2–1 defeat against Stranraer.
His most notable game for Queen's Park was the 7–1 defeat away to Queen of the South on Boxing Day 1959 when ex-England international Ivor Broadis scored four of the Queen of the South goals. Ferguson was the solitary Queen's Park goalscorer. Despite scoring 20 goals in his 31 games for Queen's Park, he could not command a regular place in the side and moved to St Johnstone in 1960. Although he continued to score at St Johnstone, he was still unable to command a regular place and requested transfers. Ferguson was out of favour at the club and he considered emigrating to Canada, however St Johnstone's failure to sign a forward led the manager to select Ferguson for a match against Rangers, in which he scored a hat-trick in a surprise victory. Dunfermline signed him the following summer, Ferguson became a full-time professional footballer; the following season, Dunfermline were strong challengers for the Scottish League and reached the Scottish Cup Final, but Ferguson was dropped for the final after a poor performance in a league game against St Johnstone.
Dunfermline lost the final 3–2 to Celtic failed to win the League by one point. The 1965–66 season saw Ferguson notch up 45 goals in 51 games for Dunfermline. Along with Joe McBride of Celtic, he was the top goalscorer in the Scottish league with 31 goals, he joined Rangers for £65,000 a record fee for a transfer between two Scottish clubs. He performed well in Europe during his two seasons with the club, scoring six goals in nine appearances in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup including two against 1. FC Köln in the 1967–68 competition, an important strike against Athletic Bilbao in the 1968–69 edition which helped Rangers into the semi-finals, but on both occasions they were knocked out by English opposition, he was blamed for a goal conceded in the 1969 Scottish Cup Final, in a match in which he was designated to mark Celtic captain, Billy McNeill, was subsequently forced to play for the club's junior side instead of for the first team. According to his brother, Ferguson was so upset by the experience that he threw his losers' medal away.
There have been claims that he suffered discrimination at Rangers after his marriage to a Catholic, Cathy Holding, but Ferguson himself makes it clear in his autobiography that Rangers knew of his wife's religion when he joined the club and that he left the club reluctantly, due to the fall-out from his alleged cup final mistake. The following October, Nottingham Forest wanted to sign Ferguson, but his wife was not keen on moving to England at that time so he went to Falkirk instead, he remained at Brockville for four years gaining more league appearances. Ferguson's time at Falkirk was soured by this and he responded by requesting a transfer and moved to Ayr United, where he finished his playing career in 1974. In June 1974, Ferguson was appointed manager of East Stirlingshire, at the comparatively young age of 32, it was a part-time job that paid £40 per week, the club did not have a single goalkeeper at the time. He gained a reputation as a disciplinarian, with club forward Bobby McCulley saying he had "never been afraid of anyone before but Ferguson was a frightening bastard from the start."The following October, Ferguson was invited to manage St Mirren.
While they were below East Stirlingshire in the league, they were a bigger club and although Ferguson felt a degree of loyalty towards East Stirlingshire, he decided to join St Mirren
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are positioned on the field between their team's defenders and forwards; some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being more mobile and efficient in passing: they are referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box, or holding midfielders; the number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the team's formation. Most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing team's attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who travel the greatest distance during a match; because midfielders arguably have the most possession during a game they are among the fittest players on the pitch. Central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided equally between attack and defence and to dominate the play around the centre of the pitch.
These players will try to pass the ball to the team's attacking midfielders and forwards and may help their team's attacks by making runs into the opposition's penalty area and attempting shots on goal themselves. When the opposing team has the ball, a central midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward and press the opposition ball-carrier to recover the ball. A centre midfielder defending their goal will move in front of their centre-backs in order to block long shots by the opposition and track opposition midfielders making runs towards the goal; the 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders. The 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder; the term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who are hard-working and who have good all-round abilities, which makes them skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can therefore track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots and run to the opponents' box to try to score.
The change of trends and the deviation from the standard 4–4–2 formation to the 4–2–3–1 formation imposed restrictions on the typical box-to-box midfielders of the 80s, as teams' two midfield roles were now divided into "holders" or "creators". Notable examples of box-to-box midfielders are Bastian Schweinsteiger, Yaya Touré, Radja Nainggolan. Left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch, they may be asked to cross the ball into the opponents' penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates, when defending they may put pressure on opponents who are trying to cross. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1 and the 4−5−1 formations. Jonathan Wilson describes the development of the 4−4−2 formation: "…the winger became a wide midfielder, a shuttler, somebody who might be expected to cross a ball but was meant to put in a defensive shift."
Notable examples of wide midfielders are Ryan Giggs. The historic position of wing-half was given to midfielders, it became obsolete as wide players with defensive duties have tended to become more a part of the defence as full-backs. Defensive midfielders are midfield players; these players may defend a zone in front of their team's defence, or man mark specific opposition attackers. Defensive midfielders may move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude: "The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someone's position, great." A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of opponent's play, tackling, interceptions and great stamina and strength. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their team's defence, while other midfielders may move forward to attack; the holding midfielder may have responsibilities when their team has the ball.
This player will make short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the team's strategy. Marcelo Bielsa is considered as a pioneer for the use of a holding midfielder in defence; this position may be seen in the 4 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 4 -- 2 diamond formations. A defensive midfielder, or "destroyer", a playmaker, or "creator", were fielded alongside each other as a team's two holding central midfielders; the destroyer was responsible for making tackles, regaining possession, distributing the ball to the creator, while the creator was responsible for retaining possession and keeping the ball moving with long passes out to the flanks, in the manner of a more old-fashioned deep-lying playmaker or "regista". Early examples of a destroyer are Nobby Stiles, Herbert Wimmer, Marco Tardelli, while examples include Claude Makélélé and Javier Mascherano, although several of these players possessed qualities of other types of midfielders, were therefore not confined to a single role.
Early examples of a creator would be Gérson, Glenn Hoddle, Sunday Oliseh, while more recent examples Xabi Alonso, Michael Carrick. The latest and third type of holding midfielder developed as a box-to-box midfielder, or "carrier", neither destructive nor creative, capable of winning b
Kieran Edward Richardson is an English professional footballer, a free agent. He plays as a winger, but has proven to be versatile, having played as a left back and a central midfielder. Richardson began his career as a trainee at West Ham United, going on to have extended spells at Manchester United, Fulham, Aston Villa and Cardiff City, he has been capped eight times for England, scoring twice. Richardson was born in Greenwich and was schooled at the private and non-selective Riverston Independent Day School in Lee, London, he began playing football at Parkwood Primary School and his talent was apparent at this young age, he was made captain of his school team and was invited to train with Arsenal. He moved to West Ham United where he would begin training professionally. However, before he made his debut for the Londoners, he was signed by Manchester United in 2001. During his first season at Manchester United, Richardson established his place as a regular on United's reserve team, he was given squad number 42 for the first team.
During summer 2002, Richardson was involved with the first team during their pre-season. Subsequently, he made his first appearance for Manchester United on 23 October 2002 when coming on as a late substitute in a match against Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League, he scored his first goal for United in the League Cup on 5 November 2002 against Leicester City. Richardson enjoyed his first breakthrough during the 2002–03 season appearing nine times and scoring a goal for the first team, he played a role in Manchester United's youth team's win of the 2003 FA Youth Cup. At the start 2003–04, he was given squad number 23; this suggested. However, during this season he failed to stake his claim for the first team, he only appeared all of them in League Cup and FA Cup. During 2004–05, he started to become more involved with the first team, he had made nine appearances and scored one goal during the first half of the season. However, during the January transfer window, Alex Ferguson decided to loan him out in order for him to gain more first team experience.
Richardson was linked with a loan move to Norwich City, but Ferguson said there was no chance as other players had gone on loan. However, when former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson, manager of West Bromwich Albion, enquired about loaning Richardson, the deal was done straight away. Under Robson, Richardson made an instant impact on West Brom's quest to escape relegation, he was a regular in West Brom's first eleven, playing in central midfield. He scored three goals from 12 appearances as West Bromwich avoided relegation, despite starting the final day of the season on the bottom of the table. At the start 2005–06, Richardson declined a further loan spell at West Brom in an attempt to win a regular place at Old Trafford, he made his break in Manchester United's first eleven in September 2005, when he appeared as an emergency left back, in place of the injured Gabriel Heinze. He soon returned to midfield however. In October 2005, Richardson celebrated his 21st birthday by signing a new four-year contract with United.
He score six goals that season. In 2006–07, Richardson's chances to establish himself in the first team were limited playing in the League Cup and the FA Cup. However, Richardson felt Alex Ferguson's wrath as the youngster shouldered some of the blame for United's below-par performance against Crewe Alexandra in the League Cup. Ferguson publicly declared that Richardson and others would benefit from spending some time in United's reserve team, he scored one of United's goals in the 4–1 FA Cup semi-final win over Watford, that put them into the final at the new Wembley Stadium. On 16 July 2007, Richardson joined Sunderland for an undisclosed fee, reported to be in the region of £5.5 million. He signed a four-year contract with Sunderland, under the management of his former United captain Roy Keane. After an indifferent start, it was discovered; this led to him being out of action for four months. He scored his first goal for Sunderland on 29 December 2007 against Bolton Wanderers. Richardson scored two goals in the 2–0 win against Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light on 13 January 2008 striking the bar to miss out on his hat-trick.
Since he suffered a hamstring injury in training this injury recurred in Sunderland's 3–0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. On 23 August 2008, Richardson scored against Tottenham Hotspur in the 56th minute, in a 2–1 win at White Hart Lane. Richardson took a free kick that hit the post three times at Fulham on 18 October, had another free kick disallowed as Pascal Chimbonda was adjudged to be pushing in the wall. On 25 October 2008, Richardson scored the winning goal with a free kick. Richardson attracted interest from Bolton Wanderers in the 2009 January transfer window, but manager Ricky Sbragia insisted that he was not for sale. Richardson scored his first goal of 2009–10 with an equaliser against West Ham United, which ended 2–2. Richardson was used in several positions throughout the season, whilst predominantly featuring in central midfield he played at left back – his performances there led to many touting him as a surprise World Cup inclusion. In the buildup to 2010–11, Richardson committed his future to the club by signing a new three-year contract.
Soon after, he became first-choice left back at the club citing Brazilian full-back Maicon as inspiration for taking up his new position, saying "I watched the World Cup and saw the way guys like Mai
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
The A-League is a professional men's soccer league run by Football Federation Australia. At the top of the Australian league system, it is the country's primary competition for the sport; the A-League was established in 2004 as a successor to the National Soccer League and competition commenced in August 2005. The league is contested by ten teams, it is known as the Hyundai A-League through a sponsorship arrangement with the Hyundai Motor Company. Seasons run from October to May and include a 27-round regular season followed by a Finals Series playoff involving the highest-placed teams, culminating in a grand final match; the winner of the regular season tournament is dubbed the'premier' while the winner of the grand final is the season's'champion'. This differs from the other major football codes in Australia, where'premier' refers to the winner of the grand final and the winner of the regular season is the'minor premier'. Successful A-League clubs gain qualification into the continental competition, the Asian Football Confederation Champions League known as "AFC Champions League".
Similar to the United States and Canada's Major League Soccer, as well as other professional sports leagues in Australia, Australia's A-League does not practice promotion and relegation. Since the league's inaugural season, a total of six clubs have been crowned A-League Premiers and five clubs have been crowned A-League Champions; the current premier is Perth Glory. The current champions are Melbourne Victory, who won the 2018 A-League Grand Final, equaling the record of four domestic titles held by Marconi Stallions, South Melbourne, Sydney City; the A-League does not recognize the history of its predecessor, the National Soccer League, the nations premier football competition from 1977 to 2004. A national round-robin tournament existed in various forms prior to the formation of the A-League, with the most notable being the National Soccer League; the formation of the NSL came after Australia's qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, which led to discussion of a national league, with 14 teams chosen to participate in the inaugural season of the NSL in 1977.
Under the guidance of the then-governing body, the Australian Soccer Federation, the NSL flourished through the 1980s and early 1990s but fell into decline with the increasing departure of Australian players to overseas leagues, a disastrous television deal with the Seven Network and the resulting lack of sponsorship. Few clubs continued to grow with Sydney Olympic, Perth Glory, the newly established Adelaide United the exception in a dying league. In April 2003, the Australian Federal Government initiated the Independent Soccer Review Committee to investigate the governance and management of the sport in Australia, including that of the NSL. In December 2003, the Crawford Report found that the NSL was financially unviable, in response the chairman of the sports new governing body, Frank Lowy of Football Federation Australia, announced that a task force would be formed to create a new national competition as a successor to the NSL which dissolved at the conclusion of the 2003–04 season after 27 years of operation.
The A-League was announced in April 2004, as a successor to the NSL. Eight teams would be part of the new national competition, with one team from each city of Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, plus a New Zealand team and one from a remaining expressions of interest from either Melbourne or Sydney; the competition start date was set for August 2005. By June 2004, 20 submissions had been received and a month 12 consortiums sent in their final bids for the eight spots. Three bids were received from Melbourne, two each from Sydney and Brisbane, one from each of the remaining preferred cities and a bid from the New South Wales Central Coast city of Gosford. Over the next three months, each bid was reviewed and on 1 November 2004, the eight successful bidders and the major sponsor were revealed, for what would be known as the Hyundai A-League, with the Hyundai Motor Company unveiled as the official naming rights sponsor for the league; the eight founding teams for the league were Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, New Zealand Knights, Perth Glory, Queensland Roar and Sydney FC, with three former NSL clubs taking part, those being Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory, as well as Queensland Roar and New Zealand Knights who were formed from NSL clubs Brisbane Lions and New Zealand Football Kingz.
Each club was given a five-year exclusivity deal in its own market as part of the league's "one-city, one-team" policy. This was intended to allow clubs to grow and develop an identity in their respective region without local competition. On 26 August 2005, 16 months after the demise of the NSL, the inaugural season of the A-League began; the first season would see Adelaide United win the premier's plate by seven points over Sydney FC with Central Coast and Newcastle filling the final two spots in the final series. In the final series, it was Sydney that took out the title after they defeated Central Coast by a Steve Corica goal to claim the first title on 5 March 2006. On 20 March 2007, it was announced that Wellington Phoenix would replace New Zealand Knights from the start of the 2007–08 season. Both Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury joined the league in the 2009–10 season. On 12 June 2009, Melbourne Heart was awarded a licence to join the 2010–11 season. On 1 March 2011 North Queensland Fury's A-League licence was revoked for financial reasons.
On 29 February 2012, Gold Coast United had its licence revoked. On 4 April 2012 it was announced that a new We