Raking in the Shekels
When Bethlehem Steel F. C. was eliminated in one of the early rounds of the American Soccer League cup competition that one goal defeat at the hands of New Bedford cost the Steel Workers a flock of jack. This can be gleaned by the receipts of the semi-final and those anticipated when Fall River opposes Boston F. C. in the final the latter part of this month. The popularity of soccer in the New England states is also evidenced by the game at the semi final of the New Bedford-Fall River setto. The receipts for that game totaled more than $10,000. Fall River and New Bedford each received $3,400 with the balance diverting to a percentage to Providence, for the use of the grounds and to the league coffers. The final which will be held at Fall River is expected to draw $15,000 if not more. It is practically a certainty that the club will share $5,000 each. The receipts of the final round of the cup competition should net Fall River enough to finance the club for the season.
Establishing a New Precedent in Cup Affairs
The announcement that the final in the American League cup competition will be played at Fall River, the home grounds of one of the competing clubs, is received with great surprise by the army of soccer enthusiasts. This decision by the management is practically establishing a precedent influenced probably by the promised returns at the gate. It is no secret that the final will draw bigger in fall River than any other soccer park in the country. However, it does seem a rather unfair advantage to the opposing finalist, which happens to be Boston. However, the league officials have so decreed and that's that. Both the semi-final rounds of the competition were played on neutral grounds. Only one other instance is recalled where a final was played on a grounds in the home city of a competing club and that game involved the Bethlehem Steel team. However, the action was prompted by the fine grounds available for the game. It was in 1914, when the Steel Workers defeated Brooklyn in the final round of the National Cup competition played in this city. The grounds, however, assumed a neutral aspect when the Steel Workers discarded their home field and negotiated successfully for the use of the Lehigh University field.
More Stringent Policy Promised
The slip shod method previously resorted to in operating the American Soccer League promise to develop into a more stringent policy. This was gleaned at a recent meeting of the league moguls when various important issues were adopted as first steps toward realizing that end. One of the most important has to do with referees and is no doubt the outgrowth of the agitation against inefficient officials and indiscreet assignment. A committee was approved to investigate and submit a list of referees to officiate in all games. The initiative along this line may mean that eventually only the highest grade of officials will operate in this circuit and if necessary men who are thoroughly capable to handle these games might be imported. Another matter that promises to occupy the attention of the league is proper police and other protection for the officials. Such probably as witnessed in big league baseball with the field erected in such a manner as to shut on access of the spectators to the playing field. Soccer is developing into big business and as such must be conducted as big business.