Several important issues promising heated debates are on tap in soccerdom, when the moguls gather for their annual meetings. Next week the U. S. F. A. will have their annual confab at New York and early in June the American Soccer League will have their annual session in the metropolis. Both these meetings indirectly have much to do with the Bethlehem Steel team.
Among the problems that the National Commission will battle are several that have to do with the American Soccer League and the most important probably will be in making concessions demanded by this professional loop. Disagreement on certain matters resulted in the American Soccer League withdrawing all of its clubs from the national cup competition and unless the concessions are adhered to, it is quite certain that the league will again decide to paddle its own canoe and again conduct a cup competition limited exclusively to the American Soccer League clubs.
The American Soccer League will ask representation on the national council and equally as important will be a revision of the usual split of the gate receipts for the semi-final and final in the cup tie play. Heretofore the division of the gate receipts gave the association 33 1/3 percent. That is what the league objected to and has admitted a proposition whereby if the commission percentage is cut to 15 percent, assurances of these strong professional clubs in the cup competition will be given. Since from a financial standpoint as well as otherwise the national cup tie play fell flat during the last season, it is expected that the National Association concede to the demands of the league. The election of officers is another important issue.
When the National Association is done, the American Soccer League executives will warm up for their annual debate, including the election of officers, and some spirited doings are also hinted for this meeting. Doings, it is whispered, that might result in a drastic change in the executive board. Also with the division of receipts of the home games.
It is understood that there is a movement on foot and stimulated by Mr. Bagnall, of Fall River, to cut the division of the receipts to the visiting club from 20 percent to 10 percent. In the New England district, where t he attendance numbers in the thousands, this issue will, no doubt, receive support. However, the clubs of the Metropolitan districts, including Philadelphia and Bethlehem, are expected to strenuously oppose such a change. The present basis of 20 percent to the visiting clubs has been proven highly satisfactory, and if continued, the revenue derived by the clubs that do not draw the biggest gates is certain to inspire an effort in securing players to strengthen their teams. At least, that seems to be the sentiment in Bethlehem. The Steel Workers have always been a big attraction in the New England cities, and as such, should be considered accordingly. In fact, it is believed that the attendance records for league games have been established with Bethlehem the opposing team.
In addition to the receipt division there is another important matter that will most likely be discussed and that has to do with a movement which seems to be gaining impetus in regards to the division of the league. The proposition is to link all the New England clubs into one division and the other clubs to campaign likewise and to be known as the Metropolitan Division. Those fostering this proposition contend that if the league is divided, a sectional series of games can be played at the close of the regular schedule in addition to competition in the National and American Cup competitions. It is hardly likely, however, that the New England teams will stand for the withdrawal of Bethlehem in that division.