The English Game

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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Has anyone seen this programme? It’s a drama series about the early days of football. When it starts, the amateur upper-class southern sides are dominant in the FA Cup. It charts the rise of northern working class teams, who effectively introduced professionalism to the game.

Written by Julian Fellowes, it feels a bit like Downton Abbey meets Match of the Day, but it does give a good picture of what the game must have been like nearly 150 years ago. It is not completely factually accurate but tells an interesting story.

If you’ve got a Netflix subscription, I suggest you give it a try.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I have not seen the film but I do know that the public school teams originally played an 811 formation and the game was more akin to rugby than modern football, with teams moving together as a pack.

It is a good job us proles rescued football from the upper classes really....
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Has anyone seen this programme? It’s a drama series about the early days of football. When it starts, the amateur upper-class southern sides are dominant in the FA Cup. It charts the rise of northern working class teams, who effectively introduced professionalism to the game.

Written by Julian Fellowes, it feels a bit like Downton Abbey meets Match of the Day, but it does give a good picture of what the game must have been like nearly 150 years ago. It is not completely factually accurate but tells an interesting story.

If you’ve got a Netflix subscription, I suggest you give it a try.
It is interesting historically, because the working class / upper class split in football was similar to rugby, only the conflict was resolved by the creation of a new governing body (the Football League) rather than a full breakaway as in rugby. That split at the top of football has caused problems ever since, notably the creation of the Premier League and the lack of clarity in the current crisis.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
It is interesting historically, because the working class / upper class split in football was similar to rugby, only the conflict was resolved by the creation of a new governing body (the Football League) rather than a full breakaway as in rugby. That split at the top of football has caused problems ever since, notably the creation of the Premier League and the lack of clarity in the current crisis.
Watching the programme and hearing the FA’s aversion to professionalism, I’d love to know how it was all resolved. They managed to keep the professional and amateur games separate and thriving for nearly a century.

I wonder how much the English Rugby Union were influenced by what had happened to football. The rugby split was easier to avoid than the football one. It’s ironic that not long ago, the best union players were lured away to play professionally in the Rugby League. Now it is usually the other way round.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
I have not seen the film but I do know that the public school teams originally played an 811 formation and the game was more akin to rugby than modern football, with teams moving together as a pack.

It is a good job us proles rescued football from the upper classes really....
Yes, the players charged forward as if in a scrum. It was quite a different game. Tackling off the ball was also allowed. Then the Scots developed the passing game and the game never looked back.

The development of football from a public school game in the south of England to our national sport and its rapid spread throughout the world must be an incredible story.
 
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