Professional football has existed in the UK for over a century: the Football League was first contested in 1888/89, the Scottish League in 1890/91. Many of the clubs which dominate the game today, clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United, Celtic and Rangers, came into existence in the late 1800s. In the last century football on the field has undergone changes. Basically, however, it remains the same game. Off the field, the picture is very different. Other than bearing the same name and often occupying the same piece of land, there is probably little of today’s club that its early supporters or owners would recognise. Perhaps that is hardly surprising. What is surprising, however, is the extent to which much of the change in football off the field has been concentrated in the last decade or less.
KeywordsProfessional Football Football Club Hostile Takeover Century Football Premier League
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