Claims Over ‘Oldest Soccer Club’ Causing Conflict
Being labeled the oldest professional soccer club in the world would bring an large amount of pride and potentially, a significant amount of revenue. Ever since the origins of organized soccer in England, there have a huge amount of claims to the title of the oldest professional club. The Football Association was started in England in 1863 with the standardizing of the rules of the game taking place before the earliest competitions were created.
The oldest professional club title is now being claimed by the Crystal Palace Football club, a team of the Premier League. There is no doubt Sheffield FC is the world’s oldest soccer team having been formed in 1857, but until now Notts County was thought to be the oldest professional soccer team having formed in 1862. It may turn out that the London team could be the oldest professional soccer club as Peter Manning, the Crystal Palace official historian has discovered evidence to support this.
According to Sky Sports the club historian has uncovered evidence that the Crystal Palace team was formed in 1861. In 1862, the Crystal Palace Company started playing on the Crystal Palace site as part of the world fair.
The Crystal Palace team was initially formed to play cricket and would schedule soccer games around the summer cricket season. It was originally thought the soccer team was disbanded in 1876 to avoid damaging the cricket pitch. According to Manning, there is new evidence that suggests the team continued to play soccer over what was an apparent 20 year break until the Crystal Palace Company built a dedicated soccer stadium for the team.
The Crystal Palace Chairman praised Manning for adding more prestige to the Premier League team. The club has a rich history that dates back to the 1863 formation of The Football Association and played in the first FA Cup competition in 1871. The development of the Crystal Palace Football Club began in earnest when the cricket team merged with the legendary London County Cricket Club that was once the home of the iconic cricketer W.G, Grace.