Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Press release regarding Crystal Palace claim to be oldest league club


CPFC 1861 or 1905?
Why the Eagles oldest league club claim should be grounded.
Press release - 06/05/2020  
Eighty four page document (attached and at and at
packed with primary/contemporary source materials show that the claim by Crystal Palace Football Club (CPFC) to be the oldest league club is an own goal
Crystal Palace Football Club, which is generally acknowledged to have been formed in September 1905, is claiming that their start date is 1861. This would make them the oldest League Club in the World.
This is quite a claim and being very interested in football history we sought to see if it was true. Our examination was very thorough and has resulted in a 84 page document packed with primary/contemporary source materials - titled CPFC 1861 or 1905? Why the Eagles oldest League club claim should be grounded.
This can be downloaded for free at For those who are unaware of who Spiksley was then please see Phil Dawkes of the BBC article from last year at:-
This document shows the CPFC claim is slightly absurd and is ultimately reduced to a short note in 1906 in the CPFC club handbook and which appears never to have been mentioned again anywhere by CPFC since very recently. It is possible to forget your own history but that really is a serious memory lapse. 
In the document we follow the qualification requirements as outlined by Martin Westby in his England’s Oldest Football Club’s 1815-1889: A New chronological classification of early football published last year. 
We reveal that the first CPFC side were affiliated to the FA between 1861 and 1875, at which point the club ceased to exist. There is then no FA affiliated club with the FA for a 30 year period until a new and totally separate club forms in 1905.
Are you the Corinthians in disguise? 

We show that CPFC played not a single League or Cup match between 1875 and 1905. We show how the 3 games in the mid 1890s under the banner of CPFC all contained 8-9 players from Corinthian FC. We show that on two occasion in January 1896 when these Corinthian players decided to play elsewhere other football clubs were drafted in to replace a team that was CPFC in name only and were in all matter of fact a failed marketing idea which aimed to provide a football spectacle to entertain the day crowds that visited The Palace’s many attractions.

Reports in 1895 and 1905 always reported that any club set up would be a new one with no mentions about any connection to the earlier Palace 1861-1875 
We show that the local and national press, which covered - and still does - extensively all football developments reported that moves to set up a CPFC in the mid 1890s always reported that this would be a new club. Claims by CPFC today that the failure at this time was due to the proposed club being barred from playing on the cricket pitch at The Crystal Palace are shown to be wrong. 
We show that all articles in the year leading up to and including September 1905 specifically mention this is a new club. We show how the 1905 claim comes up just once in a club handbook in 1906 being left hidden thereafter till well over a century later. 
We also show how the basis of many of CPFC’s claims are largely hypothesise of unproven facts which consist of using what events at other football clubs, such as the claim that as other professional clubs were set up out of cricket clubs then so must CPFC in 1905. 
We also prove that other claims by author Peter Manning that CPFC were keen to follow Woolwich Arsenal into professional football because the Gunners were averaging 25,000 gates are just outright wrong as it was not until they moved to Highbury that Arsenal, in 1919/20, averaged anywhere near such gates. CPFC had already existed for 15 years by this time.
We have sent all of this information to the FA, EFL, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, the current oldest League club as they were formed in 1865, Notts County, now of the conference, formed 1862, plus Stoke City FC, who maintain an interest in the subject.
We are now making this document available to the press and to football fans in general. 
Enquires and requests for interview to:- 

Mark Metcalf - a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association, author of more books on pre WWI football than anyone, responsible for confirming that Kenny Davenport scored the first ever League goal at 3.47pm on Saturday 8 September 1888 
07392 852561 

Clive Nicholson

Rough Jersey, named after the garments that the first professional footballers were required to wear, is a film production company currently working on a documentary on the early years of football.

CPFC two clubs , one exhibition team timeline-3.pdf

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