Unless a more determined stand is taken by the executives of the American Soccer League and particularly the schedule committee the circuit is destined to disaster. This forecast may be a bit far fetched but is apparent by the attitude of one club in particular and the readiness of the schedule committee to concede to the what appeared to be defiant demands at the meeting of the league executives and representatives held in New York City on Saturday night.
The session was a spirited one in which the transfer of a player and the arranging of the schedule were the issues involved and in each Bethlehem was one of the principals. Since Archie Stark joined the Steel Workers, transferring from the New York F. C., a club that disbanded and sold the franchise to Indiana Flooring, other clubs, it seems, have not been entirely in accord with the transfer and have stirred up agitation against the local club.
Some time ago the matter was brought to the league floor for discussion and that time the league sanctioned the transfer. The Bethlehem management was apparently satisfied that the matter had been disposed of for once and all. However, the case of Stark was again brought before the league on Saturday night and at the close of a rather spirited debate the league for the second time ratified the transfer of Stark as being entirely legitimate and in accord with the league mandates.
The rivalry Fall River entertains against Bethlehem was very much in evidence in a controversy arising in regard to the schedule for the next weekend. Fall River objected to playing Bethlehem on the trip to the New England states next week and as a result of Fall River being sustained Bethlehem will make the trip for one game at New Bedford, Mass.
Whether or not Fall River feared the outcome of a clash with Bethlehem in a dual bill is not known but at any rate the action would indicate that as being the case, for on very r are occasions in the past, has the local club made a trip down East for a single game.
Recently in Fall River it was intimated that Bethlehem is dodging the double headers in the league campaigning and in so doing is being upheld by the league. At the meeting Saturday the Bethlehem representative expressed a keen desire to meet Fall River this weekend and was satisfied to go against Fall River in the second half of the twin bill.
Manager Marks, of Fall River, was quite defiant in his attitude in refusing to meet Bethlehem and much to the surprise of the league representatives the schedule committee after hearing the discussion upheld Mr. Marks in allowing him to practically dictate the arranging of the games for Fall River. Instead of meeting Bethlehem this weekend, Fall River is now scheduled to clash with Providence on Saturday and takes on New Bedford for the Sunday game after Bethlehem plays New Bedford on Saturday. IF anything the injustice is to New Bedford, one of the weaker teams in the circuit with two of the hardest possible games ahead of it.
It appears that since Fall River has become the best drawing club in the league, seldom playing to less than 8,000 attendance that the management has assumed the right to dictate to the league executives.
The purpose of Manager Marks probably means that Fall River is evading all the hard games possible until her intimated reinforcements arrive and for that reason are anxious to be relieved of the Bethlehem game on Sunday. Press accounts from Fall River indicate that the fans are not satisfied with the present team and that prestige is threatened if the club should become a loser instead of a winner.