In the soccer racket less than a year Charles Stoneham, big league baseball magnate and owner of the New York National soccer team, makes suggestions, many of which are directly adverse to the traditions of the game and would turn the old booting sport topsy turvy if carried through. His suggestions call for drastic changes in the manner in which games are played and soccer in general conducted, quite a few of which would hardly be considered. For the enlightenment of soccer fans, appended are the details of the plan that Stoneham wants all soccer moguls to consider: 1) The nationals will not play in another United States Football Association tournament. 2) The American League is to be strengthened through having baseball owners acquire some of the present clubs and have others form teams. 3) The American League pennant winner would be crowned champion of the East at the close of the league season. 4) In the West a similar league of baseball-owned clubs should function in the same manner, its champions being crowned title holder in the West. 5) The Eastern and Western champions should meet for the national crown at the close of the season. 6) Outdoor play should be suspended in December and January, during which months he suggests that an Eastern indoor league operate in at least six cities, with possibly two teams having the Garden as their home pitch. 7) Evening soccer will be played at the Polo Grounds starting with daylight savings in May.
Why Pick on December
Some of the suggestions seem nothing less than ridiculous. One in particular -- the plan to suspend outdoor play during the months of December and January. If Mr. Stoneham takes the trouble to look up the campaigning of past seasons he will find that the month of December has been most ideal for outdoor play. In fact, one of the best months of the season. The indoor stuff is all right in New York probably where facilities are available, but how about the other towns holding franchises in the major circuit? He suggest that these indoor games be played in at least six cities with no apparent consideration for the clubs that do not have the facilities of a Madison Square Garden available. The other clubs of the league, in his opinion, probably should play dead and leave the overhead of operating teams pile up while the club is idle.
Build it Up to Give Away
Stoneham would have the pioneers of soccer turn over their interests in the sport to baseball club owners. A nice charitable suggestion! For years a good many of the present sponsors of soccer struggled along trying to make ends meet and it has been only in recent years that the sport really became popular. Now that the majority of the clubs are on a paying basis and the pioneers of soccer are being rewarded for their faith in the game and their efforts to put it across, along comes the suggestion that they give the club away. Watch them do it! One might as well suggest that we give the country back to the Indians and start all over again.
The Club Owners' Ideas
As a sample of what might happen to the game if owners of baseball clubs sponsored soccer it could be illustrated with what happened yesterday when the Bethlehem Steel-National game was called off because of rain. Calling soccer games off on account of weather conditions is a slam at tradition. Soccer players have been lauded for their hardy physique and their game as being played regardless of weather conditions. A few more baseball owners and the league schedule would never be completed if weather conditions were allowed to interfere with playing the game. That there was a steady downpour yesterday cannot be argued. Nevertheless, games and many of them, have been played under similar circumstances. Of course, the gate suffered. The damage to the field with the baseball season in vogue was probably the object of hanging out the "No Game on Account of Rain" sign.
No Objection to Twilight Affairs
There are some suggestions, however, that are worth of consideration. The twilight games, for instance. Where daylight saving is in vogue these would be possible. Soccer is one of the few sports that when once started continues without interruption and an estimate of the time required to play a complete game can be fairly accurately made. Such games would also provide recreation for the working people.
Looks Like War
IF Stoneham can enlist enough supporters to his plan the aspect threatens a war in soccer circles. And what a jolly war it would be! It's a cinch that present franchise owners are not going to toss away their interest and in the cities where soccer is firmly established will carry on the same as always. The U. S. F. A. cup and the American Soccer League cup will probably always be the ambition of the present soccer club owners. These cup competitions have proven most profitable insofar as finance is concerned and will probably continue to present a more luring interest than the regular run of league games. If another league were formed along the lines suggested by Stoneham it is believed that the present American Soccer League would retain the most prestige and an outlaw circuit be recognized more or less as a minor affair.;