Player wages through history

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1888games
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Player wages through history

Post by 1888games » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:07 pm

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge about how wages in the Scottish League have evolved since inception. Apart from that the league didn't turn professional until 1893, I can't find anything about whether there was a maximum wage, minimum wage, talent money, benefit games etc and when/if maximum wages were abolished.

The English FA changed these rules every few years until 1961 and there is plenty of information on the net to piece it together, but seemingly nothing on the Scottish League.

Thanks

Nick

1888games
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Re: Player wages through history

Post by 1888games » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:04 pm

This thread would seem to indicate that there was never a maximum wage in Scotland.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1754&p=9499&hilit=wages#p9499

I'm guessing that the gap between the Old Firm and the rest, or England and Scotland, probably wasn't as pronounced as it is today where you can earn 3x or 4x as much playing in the English Championship than for Aberdeen or Motherwell.

ScottishFA
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Re: Player wages through history

Post by ScottishFA » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:34 pm

There is no short and easy answer. Although there were no maximum wage, there was a minimum defined by the SFL for a player to be kept on the retained list, and the SFL and SFA also defined various other elements such as bonus payments, benefits, etc.

If you have the time, I would suggest looking at old SFL and SFA handbooks (available at the Scottish Football Museum) and trawling through the rules through the years.

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by HibeeJibee » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:15 pm

I think there is quite a bit of information on this dotted throughout Bob Crampsey's SFL Cententary book and also his small book - A5 slim paperback - called "The Scottish Footballer"?

There were I think maximum wages in both the wars - certainly the Second World War - to give clubs a better chance of keeping going off of reduced crowds, and making professional football impossible i.e. so players who hadn't joined or been called into the forces were still helping the war effort in munitions, mining, shipbuilding and so on.


When the SFA/SFL registered someone did they note wage, bonuses etc. that appear in the actual contract? If so they could be used to compile some interesting stats.

1888games
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Re: Player wages through history

Post by 1888games » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:21 am

Thanks for the replies, I'll see if I can track down a copy of those books.

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by Sat31March1928 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:25 am

We have the wages books at Hearts from the 1890s to the 1960s.
The wages book from 1896 is on display in the Hearts Museum.

Davie Baird was paid £1 when not playing
£2 when playing
£6 when they won the Scottish Cup

I'll look through some others from different eras.
Jackson; James; Jackson; James; Jackson

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by 1888games » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:32 am

That would be excellent, Hearts would probably be a good barometer for the 'average' top flight wage - paying less than Celtic, Rangers & Aberdeen but more than Kilmarnock, Dundee etc.

I'm particularly interested to know what happened around the start of the century, when the Football League felt wages were getting out of control with Liverpool paying £7 a week and set a maximum of £4 a week which stood for quite a number of years.

I've also got to factor in the period before professionalism and Queen's Park, currently the game doesn't allow a wage of less than £1 so I'm going to have to increase the relevance players give to other factors such as location, first-team football etc.

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by topmab » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:32 am

I have an original Hearts 1916-17 Players Contract signed by manager McCartney as well as the player and there is a prominent hand written clause on the first page saying that the wage is restricted to £1 per week as specified by the Scottish League. Interestingly, there is another hand written clause inside the contract specifying that the player will be entitled to a "profit-share" not to exceed an additional £1 per week.

So it looks like even during WW1, there were ways and means of bending the wage-cap rules.

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by Shawfield Boy » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:41 pm

Not sure how relevant this snippet is to this subject, but in the Renton v Vale of Leven match report in the Dundee Courier from the 22nd of September 1890...

"The Vale wanted Murray, who goes today (Monday) to Sunderland. We understand the “terms” are similar to those of Forbes, who is now playing for the Blackburn Rovers – namely, to be set up in business, with a three years’ guarantee of profits”

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by 1888games » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:13 pm

Thanks for the replies. I am reading "The First 100 Years" which has a few snippets on wages. I'll share my findings and some early screenshots from the game when I've finished.

Any information is valuable, even if it's something like 'Hearts average wage in 1970 was £25".

I'd also be interested in general information on lower division wages in Scotland. Whereas a Fourth Tier player in England might earn £800 a week, I suspect in Scotland the amount would be a fraction of that.

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by RobertB » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:30 am

I know its not wages as such but when Thomas Sloan signed for Hearts from Arthurlie he was given a £20 signing on fee, im sure I have something somewhere where he listed his wages and will have a look later.

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by Skyline Drifter » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:29 pm

1888games wrote: I'd also be interested in general information on lower division wages in Scotland. Whereas a Fourth Tier player in England might earn £800 a week, I suspect in Scotland the amount would be a fraction of that.
Outside of Hibs and Dundee United there won't be many second tier players in Scotland making £800 per week. In fact there is probably a reasonable percentage of top tier players not making that.

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by 1888games » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:14 pm

Thanks for the information so far. I have the wages model working reasonably well for non-amateur players.

I wondered if anyone has some knowledge about how amateur contracts work, particularly for clubs like Queen's Park but also in general when clubs like Celtic or Rangers would have amateur players in reserve. I guess the advantages for the club are you don't pay out a wage for what only might be a fringe player. However if a player turns out to be pretty good and Queen of the South or Raith come calling, he can walk away for nothing.

I need to model under what circumstances a player might accept an amateur contract when he could command a part-time or full-time contract elsewhere. In the days when Queen's Park were pretty decent and still attracted fairly big crowds, what would entice a player to turn down a potential living wage of £2-3 a week? Nowadays I can see the choice comes down to the history of Queen's Park and playing at Hampden, versus a paltry £30-40 a game playing for Peterhead. Or perhaps it's a question of players being based in Glasgow for work and not being good enough to play for Rangers, Celtic or Partick - but then you're still choosing Queen's Park over junior sides who pay their players.

At the moment the game will use factors such as location, expected playing time, club prestige to alter a player's wage demands, but there's still a floor at which point the player says 'No thanks'. This works well for England, as pretty much every player in the league at any time in history will expect some sort of wage, as there's plenty of clubs outside the league willing to pay. In Scotland, I'm thinking these factors need to count more so that a player might be tempted by Queen's Park or Celtic Reserves to play for nothing.

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by Angusfifer » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:19 pm

1888games wrote: Nowadays I can see the choice comes down to the history of Queen's Park and playing at Hampden, versus a paltry £30-40 a game playing for Peterhead. Or perhaps it's a question of players being based in Glasgow for work and not being good enough to play for Rangers, Celtic or Partick - but then you're still choosing Queen's Park over junior sides who pay their players.
Don't think you'll find many players at First Division level on that kind of money these days. Most first team squad players will be on a minimum of £100 per week basic plus either bonuses or appearance money or both...

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Re: Player wages through history

Post by 1888games » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:38 pm

Angusfifer wrote:
1888games wrote: Nowadays I can see the choice comes down to the history of Queen's Park and playing at Hampden, versus a paltry £30-40 a game playing for Peterhead. Or perhaps it's a question of players being based in Glasgow for work and not being good enough to play for Rangers, Celtic or Partick - but then you're still choosing Queen's Park over junior sides who pay their players.
Don't think you'll find many players at First Division level on that kind of money these days. Most first team squad players will be on a minimum of £100 per week basic plus either bonuses or appearance money or both...
By First Division you mean League One? Fair enough I will bow to your superior knowledge of the Scottish game, but that increases the relevance of my question, i.e. why would you play for Queen's Park? An article on their promotion seems to suggest the pull of playing at Hampden and enjoying the associated facilities is a big factor. Because they don't pay wages they have the money to treat them really well in other ways.

In 'The First 100 Years' book, it is explained the league made a rule that amateur players could not be poached during the season. Is that still the case?

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