Professional players

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smith
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Professional players

Post by smith » Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:22 pm

In general were players in the first division, A division, fully professional in the late forties/ early fifties.
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Post by Scottish » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:34 pm

From the Sunday Chronicle Football Annual 1947-48: "They (players) see, or imagine they see, a means of improving their financial position by going to England."

This was at a time when the maximum wage was still in force in England.

The same annual for 1951-52, talking about the cancellation of an SFA coaching session after just five players signed up for it, said: "It has to be remembered the vast majority of our players are part-time."

In 1952-53 talking about a reluctance by players to take up offers of extra coaching: "Most Scottish players are part-time, and they naturally consider that, having done their routine training, they have done enough to fit them for the forthcoming club match."

As a rough rule of thumb the OF, the Edinburgh pair, Aberdeen & Dundee would be largely full-time, the others mainly part-time.

There were grey areas where players would be given "jobs" by the club on the ground staff or other positions which were effectively sinecures handed out by club directors. These players would be nominally part-time but were de facto full-time employees.

Players also were liable for call-up for national service for two years up until the early 1960s but could still turn out for their clubs if stationed nearby.

The one case I have detailed knowledge of - Kilmarnock - is probably typical of clubs outside the big city elite. Although they spent all but seven seasons in the top flight from 1899 onwards, Killie didn't issue full-time contracts until 1959 and this was a bone of contention with several players despite the fact that the wage on offer was £20 per week - the same as the English maximum and allegedly just £2 a week less than the Ibrox basic. The problem was that the part-time wage of £15 per week was reduced to £12 at the same time, making it much less attractive for those players (and there were quite a few) happy to retain part-time status.

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Post by Scottish » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:49 pm

I should add that full-time status at Rugby Park hasn't been continuous since then. In 1971-72 Kilmarnock stopped issuing full-time contracts. The last existing such contracts expired at the end of 1972-73 (relegation the same season was more than a coincidence) and the club were on a part-time footing from then on. In the late 1970s/early 1980s the number of Scottish clubs operating on a full-time basis was in single figures.

In Killie's case they were part-time for over 16 years. It was only with the signing of Tommy Burns in late 1989 that they began to move back to full-time status.

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Post by Lisbon67 » Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:12 pm

Even the Celtic team that won the European Cup had two part-timers. Ronnie Simpson and Jim Craig.

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Post by exile » Sat Aug 05, 2006 8:56 pm

"Part-timer" is used as a term of abuse today - but many decent players were part-time or even (at least officially) amateur. Full time players in those days put in very little more training than their part time colleagues - and often then neutralised the benefits of the training in the pub afterwards.

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