Chesterfield Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Chesterfield, England. The team competes in the fifth tier of the English football league system. Chesterfield play their home games at the 10,504 capacity Proact Stadium, having moved from their historic home of Saltergate during the summer of 2010. Notable players include record appearance holder Dave Blakey, who played in 617 of Chesterfield's league games, 162 league goal club record holder Ernie Moss; the club contests numerous local rivalries, though Nottinghamshire club Mansfield Town are considered to be their main rivals. Chesterfield FC was established in 1867 though it would be the third incarnation of that name that turned professional in 1891 and changed its name to Chesterfield Town. Town entered the FA Cup for the first time the following year, competed in the Sheffield & District League and Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup, before joining the Midland League in 1896–97. A third-place finish in 1898–99 resulted in a successful application to the Football League Second Division for the following season.
After ten seasons in the Second Division they failed to gain re-election to the League and returned to the Midland League in 1909, finishing as champions in 1909–10. The club entered liquidation in 1915, were reformed as Chesterfield Municipal in April 1919, they again rejoined the Midland League and finished as champions in 1919–20. The club was renamed to Chesterfield FC in December 1920, became founder members of the Third Division North in 1921–22, they marked their tenth season in the division, 1930–31, by winning the title, though only managed two seasons in the Second Division before suffering relegation. They again won the Third Division North title in 1935–36, after World War II recorded their best league finish of fourth in the Second Division in 1946–47; however they were relegated again in 1950–51, were relegated out of the Third Division in 1960–61. Chesterfield won the Fourth Division in 1969–70, won the Anglo-Scottish Cup in 1980. After relegation in 1982–83, they again won the Fourth Division title in 1984–85, though would again be relegated after five seasons in the third tier.
They secured their return to the third tier with a 2–0 win over Bury in the 1995 play-off Final at Wembley. Chesterfield reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1997, but were relegated back to the basement division in 1999–2000, they made an immediate return to the third tier after securing a Third Division automatic promotion place in 2000–01. Relegated in 2006–07, they secured the League Two title in 2010–11, but were relegated from League One the following season. In 2011, Dave Allen took full ownership of the club and oversaw progress to two League Trophy finals. Chesterfield were crowned champions of League Two for a record fourth time in 2013–14, but remained in League One for just three seasons. Two consecutive relegations saw the club relegated out of the English Football League at the end of the 2017–18 season. Five or more teams have been called Chesterfield Football Club at different times. A Derbyshire Times newspaper report from 2 January 1864 noted a scheduled game between "Chesterfield and Norton football clubs", suggesting that a Chesterfield F.
C. whether loosely or formally organised, was active from at least 1863. A second Chesterfield F. C. was formally created as an offshoot of Chesterfield Cricket Club in October 1867. The cricket and football clubs moved to the Recreation Ground at Saltergate in 1871, the same year that they became separate entities. However, a souring of the relationship between the two led to the closure of the football club in 1881, when it found itself homeless. Many players joined other local sides, notably Chesterfield Livingstone, a club that took up using the Saltergate site, Chesterfield Spital, a team which competed in the early years of the FA Cup. Three years in 1884, a third entity called Chesterfield Football Club was formed, again making its home at Saltergate, it drew in players from the preceding club and both Chesterfield Livingstone and Chesterfield Spital, though records show Spital continued as a separate club. After changing its name to Chesterfield Town, the club turned professional in 1891 and won several local trophies in the following two seasons, entering the FA Cup for the first time in 1892.
For the 1892–93 season, the club wore an extraordinary playing strip of all dark blue with the Union Jack emblazoned across the front of the shirt. Chesterfield joined the Midland League in 1896, applied for a place in the Second Division of the Football League at the start of the 1899–1900 season, finishing seventh. After finishing bottom of the League three years in a row, the club failed to gain re-election to the League in 1909, returning to the Midland League. In 1915 Chesterfield Town was put into voluntary liquidation and a new club with the same name was formed by a local restaurateur to play wartime football using locally based "guests" from Football League clubs, it lasted only two years before its management and players were suspended by the FA for illegal payments and the club shut down. The current Chesterfield F. C was formed on 24 April 1919 by Chesterfield Borough Council, seeing it as a way to spearhead improvements in local recreational provision. Called Chesterfield Municipal, the club made great strides on the pitch in its first season, lifting the Midland League title – and did so despite three changes of management.
However, The Football Association and the Football League had made clear their vehement opposition to a council-run club and ul
Gareth Gerald McAuley is a Northern Irish professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Scottish Premiership club Rangers and the Northern Ireland national team. McAuley began his career playing in Northern Irish football with Linfield, Ballyclare Comrades and Coleraine before joining English side Lincoln City in the summer of 2004, he impressed enough at Sincil Bank to earn a move to Championship side Leicester City. He moved on to Ipswich Town in June 2008 following Leicester's relegation and on to Premier League side West Bromwich Albion in July 2011. McAuley won West Brom's player of the year award for the 2012–13 season. McAuley was born in County Antrim, he spent some time in early 2000 on loan at Ballyclare Comrades. After four years at Linfield, he moved to Crusaders in the summer of 2000. After two successful seasons, he moved to Coleraine. In the summer of 2004, McAuley decided the time had come to look for a move into full-time football in the Football League. After attracting interest from Lincoln City and Stockport County he linked up with Edgeley Park based club for a two-week trial under the eye of the former Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy who had given McAuley his first Northern Ireland B call-up.
After impressing in his trial, McAuley seemed set to sign for Stockport but talks broke down and he instead joined Lincoln City on a two-year deal with Coleraine receiving £10,000 for his services. With Lincoln boasting one of the strongest defences in League Two at the time of McAuley's arrival, he did not walk straight into the first team, his first few appearances for the club were all as a substitute, in the role of a target man striker. However, when Dean West was dropped from the squad and club captain Paul Morgan sidelined with an injury, McAuley moved into central defence to partner Ben Futcher, he drew the plaudits for his excellent performances, which included a man of the match display against Derby County. He thereafter battled for a starting centre back role with fellow giant Jamie McCombe for much of the season. However, in March 2005, McAuley earned a starting role as the right full-back, replacing the perpetually out of form fan favourite Matt Bloomer, he continued to play in this position for the rest of the season, helping Lincoln to the play-off final, not just with his exceptional defensive performances, but with 5 goals, including both in a 2–1 aggregate victory over Macclesfield in the play-off semi-final.
The 2005–06 season, saw him cement a spot in the centre of the Imps defence. With Ben Futcher leaving on a free transfer to join rivals Boston United, McAuley took his place, he enjoyed a fantastic season, which culminated in play-off defeat for Lincoln again, but saw him named in the League Two Team of the Year, caught the attention of a number of bigger clubs. The lure of playing at a higher level saw McAuley reject Lincoln City's offer of a new contract in the summer of 2006, he moved on a free transfer to Leicester City. McAuley signed for Leicester City on 5 June 2006, after reaching the end of his contract at Lincoln, signing a three-year deal, he scored his first senior goal for Leicester on 17 January in a 4–3 defeat to Fulham in the FA Cup, was on the scoresheet against Ipswich Town on 10 February, heading in both as Leicester won 2–0. In the 2007–08 season, McAuley was appointed captain in a 0–0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 2 October 2007, following Stephen Clemence's injury.
He scored his fourth goal on 5 October against Sheffield Wednesday, helping Leicester earn their second only league win of the season, was named in the Championship Team of the Week three days later. McAuley is one of three players who netted in three goals against Chelsea in a League Cup match on 31 October at Stamford Bridge, but could not prevent his side from losing 4–3. In January 2008, Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton made two bids to sign McAuley, but both of these were turned down. Despite signing a new three-and-a-half-year deal on 8 February, McAuley decided to leave Leicester following their relegation three months later. McAuley was named captain for the 2008/09 season; the defender got off to a somewhat shaky start, but after settling into the squad, established himself as a commanding leader and consistent defender. McAuley further enhanced his international credentials whilst with the Suffolk team. On 6 November 2010, McAuley played his 100th game for Ipswich Town, in which he scored the winner in a 2–1 win against Sheffield United.
On 23 May 2011, West Bromwich Albion announced McAuley would be signing a three-year contract beginning 1 July. McAuley scored his second West Bromwich Albion goal, helping them beat Chelsea after 33 years without a point against the Blues, he scored in the 82nd minute of the game which finished 1–0. On 28 April 2013, McAuley was voted Players' Player of the Year and Supporters' Player of the Year after an impressive 2012–2013 season. On 21 March 2015, McAuley was sent off in the second minute against Manchester City by referee Neil Swarbrick in a Premier League match, due to mistaken identity with Craig Dawson. On 20 June 2018, it was announced that McAuley would leave West Brom upon the expiration of his contract. McAuley signed for Rangers on 3 September 2018, on a deal until the end of the 2018–19 season, he made his debut as an injury-time substitute on 8 November in a 4–3 defeat away to Spartak Moscow in the Europa League. In May 2003, McAuley received his first senior international call when he was one of five Irish League players named in the squ
Bolton Wanderers F.C.
Bolton Wanderers Football Club is a professional football club in Bolton, Greater Manchester, which competes in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football. Formed as Christ Church Football Club in 1874, it adopted its current name in 1877 and was a founder member of the Football League in 1888. Bolton have spent more seasons than any other club in the top flight without winning the title, they finished third in the First Division in 1891–92, 1920–21 and 1924–25. Bolton won three FA Cups in the 1920s, a fourth in 1958; the club spent a season in the Fourth Division in 1987-88 before regaining top-flight status in 1995 and qualifying for the UEFA Cup twice, reaching the last 32 in 2005–06 and the last 16 in 2007–08. The club played at Burnden Park for 102 years from 1895. On 9 March 1946, 33 Bolton fans lost their lives in the Burnden Park disaster when a human crush occurred. In 1997, Bolton moved to the Reebok Stadium, renamed the Macron Stadium in 2014, now known as the University of Bolton Stadium.
The club was founded by the Reverend Joseph Farrall Wright, Perpetual curate of Christ Church Bolton, Thomas Ogden, the schoolmaster at the adjacent church school, in 1874 as Christ Church F. C, it was run from the church of the same name on Deane Road, Bolton, on the site where the Innovation factory of the University of Bolton now stands. The club left the location following a dispute with the vicar, changed its name to Bolton Wanderers in 1877; the name was chosen as the club had a lot of difficulty finding a permanent ground to play on, having used three venues in its first four years of existence. Bolton were one of the 12 founder members of the Football League, which formed in 1888. At the time Lancashire was one of the strongest footballing regions in the country, with 6 of the 12 founder clubs coming from within the boundaries of the historic county of Lancashire. Having remained in the Football League since its formation, Bolton have spent more time in the top flight than out of it. In 1894 Bolton reached the final of the FA Cup for the first time, but lost 4–1 to Notts County at Goodison Park.
A decade they were runners-up a second time, losing 1–0 to local rivals Manchester City at Crystal Palace on 23 April 1904. The period before and after the First World War was Bolton's most consistent period of top-flight success as measured by league finishes, with the club finishing outside the top 8 of the First Division on only two occasions between 1911–12 and 1927–28. In this period Bolton equalled their record finish of third twice, in 1920–21 and 1924–25, on the latter occasion missing out on the title by just 3 points. On 28 April 1923, Bolton won their first major trophy in their third final, beating West Ham United 2–0 in the first Wembley FA Cup final; the match, famously known as The White Horse Final was played in front of over 127,000 supporters. Bolton's centre-forward, David Jack scored the first goal at Wembley Stadium. Driven by long-term players Joe Smith in attack, Ted Vizard and Billy Butler on the wings, Jimmy Seddon in defence, they became the most successful cup side of the twenties, winning three times.
Their second victory of the decade came in 1926, beating Manchester City 1–0 in front of over 91,000 spectators, the third came in 1929 as Portsmouth were beaten 2–0 in front of nearly 93,000 fans. In 1928 the club faced financial difficulties and so was forced to sell David Jack to Arsenal to raise funds. Despite the pressure to sell, the agreed fee of £10,890 was a world record, more than double the previous most expensive transfer of a player. From 1935 to 1964, Bolton enjoyed an uninterrupted stay in the top flight – regarded by fans as a golden era – spearheaded in the 1950s by Nat Lofthouse; the years of the Second World War saw most of the Wanderers' playing staff see action on the front, a rare occurrence within elite football, as top sportsmen were assigned to physical training assignments, away from enemy fire. However, 15 Bolton professionals, led by their captain Harry Goslin, volunteered for active service in 1939, were enlisted in the 53rd Bolton Artillery regiment. By the end of the war, 32 of the 35 pre-war professionals saw action in the British forces.
The sole fatality was Goslin, who had by risen to the rank of Lieutenant and was killed by shrapnel on the Italian front shortly before Christmas 1943. 53rd Bolton Artillery took part in the Battle of Dunkirk and served in the campaigns of Egypt and Italy. Remarkably, a number of these soldiers managed to carry on playing the game in these theatres of war, taking on as'British XI' various scratch teams assembled by, among others, King Farouk of Egypt in Cairo and Polish forces in Baghdad. On 9 March 1946, the club's home was the scene of the Burnden Park disaster, which at the time was the worst tragedy in British football history. 33 Bolton Wanderers fans were crushed to death, another 400 injured, in an FA Cup quarter-final second leg tie between Bolton and Stoke City. There was an estimated 67,000-strong crowd crammed in for the game, though other estimates vary with a further 15,000 locked out as it became clear the stadium was full; the disaster led to Moelwyn Hughes's official report, which recommended more rigorous control of crowd sizes.
In 1953 Bolton played in one of the most famous FA Cup finals of all time – The Stanley Matthews Final of 1953. Bolton lost the game to Blackpool 4–3 after gaining a 3–1 lead. Blackpool were victorious thanks to the goals of Stan Mortensen. Bolton Wanderers have not won a major trophy since 1958, when two Lofthouse goals saw them overcome Manchester United in the FA Cup final in front of a 100,000 crowd at Wembley Stadium; the closes
The Valley (London)
The Valley is a 27,111 capacity sports stadium located in Charlton, London and has been the home of Charlton Athletic Football Club since 1992. It is served by Charlton railway station, less than a five-minute walk away from the stadium. Alternatively, you can use the Jubilee line, exiting at North Greenwich, where you can change for route 161, 472 and 486 buses, which stop outside the stadium. In Charlton's early years, the club had a nomadic existence using several different grounds between its formation in 1905 and the beginning of World War I in 1914; the ground dates from 1919, at a time when Charlton were moderately successful and looking for a new home. The club found an abandoned sand and chalk pit in Charlton, but did not have sufficient funds to develop the site. An army of volunteer Charlton supporters dug out a flat area for the pitch at the bottom of the chalk pit and used the excavated material to build up makeshift stands; the ground's name most comes from its original valley-like appearance.
The club played its first game at the ground before any seats, or terraces, were installed. The unique circumstances of the ground's initial construction led to an unusually intense bond between the club's supporters and the site that exists to this day. In the 1923–24 season, Charlton played at the Mount stadium in Catford but in a much more populated area. A proposed merger with Catford South End FC fell through and thus. In 1967, Len Silver the promoter at Hackney made an application to open Charlton as a British League speedway club, plans were put forward to construct a track around the perimeter of the football pitch; the application to include speedway at the Valley was enthusiastically supported but was ruled out on the grounds of noise nuisance. For many years, the Valley was one of the largest Football League grounds in Britain, although its highest maximum capacity of 75,000 was only half the capacity of Glasgow's Hampden Park. However, Charlton's long absence from the top level of English football prevented much-needed renovation.
The club's debts led to bankruptcy administration. A consortium of supporters acquired the club in 1984, but the Valley remained under the ownership of the club's former owner. However, the club was unable to finance the improvements needed to make the Valley meet new safety requirements. Shortly after the start of the 1985-86 season, Charlton left the Valley, entering into an agreement with Crystal Palace to share the latter's Selhurst Park facilities, the first official groundsharing arrangement in the Football League in 36 years. In 1988, the ownership of the club and the Valley was again united, in a "grass roots" effort that harkened back to the ground's initial construction, thousands of supporters volunteered to clean the ground burning the debris in a huge bonfire on the pitch. By this time, the large terraces were no longer seen as desirable or safe. Charlton Athletic supporters proposed a brand-new stadium to surround the original pitch. However, the Greenwich Borough Council overwhelmingly turned down plans to renovate the ground.
Club supporters formed their own local political party, the Valley Party, in response to the council's decision. The party ran candidates for all but two Greenwich Council seats, sparing the two councillors who had approved the new stadium plans; the party won 15,000 votes in the 1990 elections pressuring the council to approve the plans for the new stadium. In 1991, construction began on the new Valley, the club moved from Selhurst Park to West Ham's Upton Park; the modern stadium opened in December 1992. Since Charlton's return to the Valley in 1992, the ground itself has undergone some remarkable changes; the north and west sides of the ground have been rebuilt, giving the ground a capacity of over 27,000. The club have ambitions to extend the ground's capacity to over 40,000 by expanding the east side and rebuilding the south side, but it remains uncertain if or when the plans will be implemented after the club's relegation from the Premier League in 2007 and from the Championship two years later.
In 2004 the Unity Cup was held at the Valley with Nigeria winning the competition. Capacity: 9,000 The North Stand was built as a replacement for the'covered end', is still called by this name, it was built during the 2001–02 season as part of the developments to bring the Valley's capacity to 26,500 after promotion to the Premier League in 2000. The North Stand houses what is considered the most vocal supporters in the ground, along with restaurants and executive suites, it is the home of the club's band, which includes drummers and trumpeters. Capacity: 6,000 The East Stand was constructed during the 1993–94 season and completed in 1994; as part of the first development to the ground since the return in 1992, it replaced the massive east terrace, which had remained closed and prohibited from use since the mid-1980s after the Bradford City stadium fire. The East Stand consists of a single tier of seats and houses the television gantry, has numerous executive boxes. For FA and League Cup matches, part of the East Stand is used to house away supporters if the demand for away team tickets is high.
Capacity: 9,000 The West Stand was built in 1998 after Charlton's first promotion to the Premier League and is two tiered. This is the main stand at the Valley with the largest capacity, houses the club's offices, as well as the director's box, board room dug-outs, changing rooms and the commercial centre. There are many conferencing roo
Mark Hudson (footballer, born 1982)
Mark Alexander Hudson is an English former professional footballer, a coach at Premier League club Huddersfield Town, was caretaker manager in January 2019. A centre-back, he began his professional career with Fulham after progressing through the club's youth academy, he made his senior debut in a League Cup match in 2000 but made just two further first team appearances for Fulham. He spent two spells on loan with Oldham Athletic in 2003 before joining Crystal Palace on loan after Oldham manager Iain Dowie moved between the two clubs, he joined Palace on a permanent basis soon after as they spent one season in the Premier League before establishing himself in the first team following their return to the Championship. In 2008, he joined Charlton Athletic following the expiration of his contract where he was appointed captain of the side but suffered relegation to League One during his only season at the club, he instead was appointed captain on his arrival. He helped the side reach the play-offs in his first three seasons, suffering defeat each time, before they won promotion to the Premier League by winning the Championship in 2013.
However, Hudson was dropped following promotion in favour of new signings and made only nine further appearances in over a year before departing for Huddersfield Town. He again took over the captaincy soon after his arrival and made over 100 appearances for the club during a three-year spell, helping them win promotion to the Premier League in his final season, he announced his retirement from playing at the end of the 2016–17 season and was appointed manager of the club's under-23 squad. Born in Guildford, Hudson played for Farncombe Youth as a child; as a teenager, he played for Swindon Town before joining Fulham when he was 14, which he reflected on, stating, "I was at Swindon when I was about 13. I came to the club at about 14 but took a year out because I wasn't enjoying it; when I came back I wasn't offered a YTS. I took the knock-back and stayed at college because it's always useful to have an academic side to fall back on. I was told that I was going to be given a professional contract and it's gone from there."After progressing through the ranks at the Fulham Academy, Hudson was involved in the Fulham first team and made his senior debut, being named in the starting line-up for a 1–0 defeat against Chesterfield in the first leg of a League Cup tie on 19 September 2000.
Hudson made another League Cup appearance for Fulham in the return leg on 27 September 2000, in a 4–0 win. In December 2001, Hudson spent two days on trial with Grimsby Town in preparation for a possible loan move, the transfer was not completed. At the end of the 2001–02 season, Hudson signed a one-year contract with Fulham, he did not make another senior appearance for the side until 6 November 2002, when he played in a 3–1 win over Bury in the League Cup. In total, Hudson made three appearances for all in the League Cup. Ahead of the 2003–04 season, Hudson was promoted to the first team by manager Chris Coleman, but was loaned out to Second Division side Oldham Athletic in August 2003 on an initial one-month loan deal, he made his debut for Oldham in a 2–1 loss against Brentford on 25 August 2003. His loan spell with Oldham was extended for another month. After his initial loan spell ended in late–October, Hudson re–joined them on loan the following month, he went on to make four more appearances for the side before returning to his parent club in December.
In January 2004, Hudson was loaned out again, joining Crystal Palace on a three-month loan deal where he was reunited with former Oldham manager Iain Dowie, who had moved to Selhurst Park one month before. He was signed by the club as a replacement for the injured Curtis Fleming who had suffered a broken bone in his leg, he made his debut for Palace in a 5–1 win over Watford on 17 January 2004. He established himself in the first team and impressed manager Dowie once again; as a result, his loan spell with the club was extended for a further two months. Hudson started in six consecutive matches following his debut until he was sent–off in a 1–0 win over Gillingham for committing a professional foul in the penalty area, although Nicky Southall was unable to convert the resulting penalty. After serving a one match suspension, he returned to his parent club following his last appearance in a 1–1 draw against Wigan Athletic on 17 April 2004, he made 14 appearances for the side during his loan spell as Palace went on to defeat West Ham United in the play-off final to win promotion to the Premiership.
After his loan spell at Palace came to an end, local newspaper News Shopper compared Hudson to former loan signing Ashley Cole, writing that, like Cole, he would be seen "as a big star of the future who came of age at Palace."Following their promotion, Dowie returned to sign Hudson on a permanent basis for the start of the 2004–05 season. His first game after his signing came in the opening game of the season, a 1–1 draw against Norwich City. In their following match, a 3–1 loss against Everton, Hudson scored his first goal for the club when he converted a Wayne Routledge cross in the opening ten minutes of the match. However, he suffered ankle injury soon after and, after featuring for the reserve side, he was further sidelined by a hernia problem, his next appearance came seven months on 2 April 2005 in a 1–0 loss against Middlesbrough. Hudson went on to finish his first season with eight appearances and one goal in all competitions as Palace were relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the season.
Hudson made his first appearance of the 2005–06 season in
The Premier League is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League; the Premier League is a corporation. Seasons run from August to May with each team playing 38 matches. Most games are played on Sunday afternoons; the Premier League has featured 47 English and two Welsh clubs since its inception, making it a cross-border league. The competition was formed as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from the Football League, founded in 1888, take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal; the deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB and BT Group securing the domestic rights to broadcast 116 and 38 games respectively. The league generates € 2.2 billion per year in international television rights. Clubs were apportioned revenues of £2.4 billion in 2016–17. The Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people.
In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, second highest of any professional football league behind the Bundesliga's 43,500. Most stadium occupancies are near capacity; the Premier League ranks second in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons, as of 2018. Forty-nine clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992. Six of them have won the title since then: Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City; the record of most points in a Premier League season is 100, set by Manchester City in 2017–18. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 1980s marked a low point for English football. Stadiums were crumbling, supporters endured poor facilities, hooliganism was rife, English clubs were banned from European competition for five years following the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985; the Football League First Division, the top level of English football since 1888, was behind leagues such as Italy's Serie A and Spain's La Liga in attendances and revenues, several top English players had moved abroad.
By the turn of the 1990s the downward trend was starting to reverse: at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, England reached the semi-finals. In the 1980s, major English clubs had begun to transform into business ventures, applying commercial principles to club administration to maximise revenue. Martin Edwards of Manchester United, Irving Scholar of Tottenham Hotspur, David Dein of Arsenal were among the leaders in this transformation, it gave the top clubs more power. By threatening to break away, clubs in Division One managed to increase their voting power, they took a 50% share of all television and sponsorship income in 1986. Revenue from television became more important: the Football League received £6.3 million for a two-year agreement in 1986, but by 1988, in a deal agreed with ITV, the price rose to £44 million over four years with the leading clubs taking 75% of the cash. According to Scholar, involved in the negotiations of television deals, each of the First Division clubs received only around £25,000 per year from television rights before 1986, this increased to around £50,000 in the 1986 negotiation to £600,000 in 1988.
The 1988 negotiations were conducted under the threat of ten clubs leaving to form a "super league", but they were persuaded to stay with the top clubs taking the lion share of the deal. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the country's top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. In 1990, the managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the "big five" football clubs in England over a dinner; the meeting was to pave the way for a break away from The Football League. Dyke believed that it would be more lucrative for LWT if only the larger clubs in the country were featured on national television and wanted to establish whether the clubs would be interested in a larger share of television rights money; the five clubs decided to press ahead with it. The FA did not enjoy an amicable relationship with the Football League at the time and considered it as a way to weaken the Football League's position.
At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring more money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the game's top-flight clubs, established the basic principles for setting up the FA Premier League; the newly formed top division would have commercial independence from The Football Association and the Football League, giving the FA Premier League licence to negotiate
Sheffield United F.C.
Sheffield United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The team competes in the second tier of English football; the football club was formed in 1889 as an offshoot of Sheffield United Cricket Club, are nicknamed The Blades due to Sheffield's history of steel production. The club have played their home games at Bramall Lane since their formation in 1889. Bramall Lane is an all-seater ground with a capacity of 32,702. Sheffield United won the original Football League in 1898 and the FA Cup in 1899, 1902, 1915 and 1925, they were beaten finalists in the FA Cup in 1901 and 1936, reached the semi-finals in 1961, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2014. They reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2003 and 2015. For most of the club's history they have played in white striped shirts with black shorts, their closest rivals are Sheffield Wednesday. Sheffield United formed on 22 March 1889 at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield by the President of the Cricket Club Sir Charles Clegg.
The Wednesday had moved from Bramall Lane to their own ground at Olive Grove after a dispute over gate receipts and the tenants of Bramall Lane needed to create a new team to generate income. Sir Charles Clegg was incidentally the president of The Wednesday. Undoubtedly United's heyday was the 30-year period from 1895–1925, when they were champions of England in 1897–98 and runners up in 1896–97 and 1899–00, FA Cup winners in 1899, 1902, 1915 and 1925, finishing runners up in 1901, eleven years after their cup final win in 1936. United have not won a trophy since 1925, bar those associated with promotion from lower-leagues, their best performances in the cup competitions being several semi-final appearances in the FA Cup and Football League Cup, their darkest days came between 1975 and 1981. After finishing sixth in the First Division at the end of the 1974–75 season, they were relegated to the Second Division the following season and three years after that setback they fell into the Third Division.
They reached an absolute low in 1981 when they were relegated to the Fourth Division, but were champions in their first season in the league's basement division and two years afterwards they won promotion to the Second Division. They did fall back into the Third Division in 1988, but new manager Dave Bassett masterminded a quick revival which launched the Blades towards one of the most successful eras in their history. Successive promotions in the aftermath of the 1988 relegation saw them return to the First Division in 1990 after a 14-year exile, they survived at this level for four seasons and reached an FA Cup semi-final in the 1992–93 season before being relegated in 1994. They would remain outside the top flight for the next 12 years, although they did qualify for the play-offs under Bassett's successor Howard Kendall in 1997 and caretaker manager Steve Thompson in 1998, they were struggling at the wrong end of Division One when Neil Warnock was appointed manager in December 1999, a financial crisis was preventing the club from being able to boost their squad, but in 2002–03 they enjoyed their most successful season for a decade, reaching the semi-finals of both domestic cups and reaching the Division One play-off final, where they were beaten 3–0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Three years however, Warnock delivered a Premier League return as the Blades finished runners-up in the rebranded Championship. They lasted just one season back amongst the elite, before being relegated from the Premier League amidst the controversy surrounding Carlos Tevez, the player, controversially signed by West Ham United and whose performances played a big part in their remarkable escape from relegation. Neil Warnock resigned as manager; the club struggled to come to terms with life back in the Championship, with a spiralling wage bill not being matched by the quality of the players brought in, a succession of managers within a short period of time. The Blades did reach the Championship playoff final in 2009 under Kevin Blackwell, but a period of decline set in; the 2010–11 season proved disastrous, with the club employing three different managers in the space of a season, which ended in relegation to League One under Micky Adams, meaning they would play in the third tier of English football for the first time since 1989, only five years after gaining promotion to the Premiership.
In the 2011–12 season, the club finished third in League One, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, entered the playoffs. With victory over Stevenage in the semi-final, United missed out on an immediate return to the Championship after suffering a penalty shootout defeat to Huddersfield Town; the Blades again made it to the League One playoffs in 2012–13 after a fifth-place finish, but were knocked out by eventual promotion winners Yeovil Town on an 85th-minute goal in the second leg of the semi-finals. On 3 September 2013 it was confirmed that Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the royal House of Saud had bought a 50% stake in United's parent company'Blades Leisure Ltd' for the fee of £1 with the promise of providing "substantial new capital" with the aim of returning the Blades to the Premier League as "quickly as possible". In 2014 the Blades began to be described by areas of the media as "giant-killers", having reached the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, losing 5–3 to Hull City.
In 2014–15 the team reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and semi-finals of the Football League Cup, desp