Although Sam Marks, manager and owner of the Fall River team, asked a fancy transfer price for the services of Hugh Reid, former Phillie fullback, he relented considerably in his attitude when he withdrew all claims for the big Irish fullback at the special meeting of the American Soccer League held in New York last night.
The Bethlehem management contended that since Reid, once the property of the Steelmen and loaned to Philadelphia, had signed only a tentative agreement, that he was not bound by Fall River, and was practically a free agent until he affixed his signature to a regular league contract. Reid was played in two Bethlehem games, both with the consent of the Fall River management as “loaned” but is now a full fledged member of the local clan. The difference between the two clubs did not reach the floor for discussion in the league meeting.
Expected fireworks over various matters scheduled for discussion failed to materialize and instead the session was very harmonious. All the unpleasantries that arose with the disbanding of the Philadelphia club were forgotten.
The Providence Club, of which Sam Fletcher, former Bethlehem Steel back, is manger, was in a diplomatic way mildly censured for having taken a sporting proposition into the courts of Rhode Island, an act never before attempted in the history of soccer. IT was quite plain that the league did not favor the action taken by Providence.
If Providence persists in going through with the case it will test the validity of contracts internationally but more important than that, it will serve undeniable notice on the teams across the Atlantic that the American League is not “the cattle rustling outfit” it has frequently been called over there.
If the league wins its case against Providence and enforces the suspension of Stevenson (who was blacklisted for jumping a contract with the Arthurlie F. C. of the Scottish Football Association) and indefinite suspension which was upheld both by the U. S. F. A. and the F. I. F. A., the league will gain wide and favorable publicity in soccer circles not only in Great Britain but all over the world.
If Providence wins the case, it will prove that such governing bodies as the U. S. F. A. and F. I. F. A. mean nothing whatsoever, insofar as respect of suspension goes. After discussion at the special meeting there is a feeling prevalent among representatives that Providence might withdraw its case. If not the likelihood that Providence might be asked to withdraw from the league.
With Hartford and Philadelphia both out of the league, a re3vision of the schedule was necessary and a plan submitted by Nathan Agar, of the Brooklyn club, adopted. This plan calls for 46 instead of 44 games, the original number, for in addition to the games scheduled with the present members of the league, the Saturday clubs will meet the Sunday club in a game each at home and away. The Sunday clubs are Providence, Fall River, Indiana, Brooklyn and Newark. The Saturday clubs are Boston, Coats, New Bedford, Giants and Bethlehem.
The league decided to allow the points to stand as earned.