The Globe Bethlehem
Friday, August 22, 1924
A Swing Along Athletic Row

National Council Intimate Legal Action
The desperate straits of the National Council of the U. S. F. A., becomes apparent by the gossip heard around official quarters where legal action is intimated with a threat of conspiracy charges, if necessary, in its efforts to compel the clubs of the powerful American Soccer League, operating twelve leading Eastern clubs in ten cities; of the rich St. Louis Soccer League and the New National League, of Chicago, to enter the annual national title play. Unless successful in reconciling the difference between these strong clubs and the National Association the body is threatened with disaster for the play which in the past was the blue ribbon classic of American soccer will be minus any competition of the strong clubs in the country and will then assume the aspect of a minor aggregation.

Moguls To Confab in New York Tomorrow
That the present situation is one that jeopardizes the future of the National Association is readily apparent and many soccer fans in the know are predicting that unless differences are reconciled at the special confab called for tomorrow in New York City the association is apt to flounder on the rocks. War to the hilt in the realm of organized football is predicted. In summoning the soccer magnates to this session it is announced in the letter that the subjects to be offered for discussion:

1. The announced refusal of certain leading clubs to enter the National Challenge Cup competition and the reason for refusal.
2. Reported jumping of contracts by professional players and possible methods of meeting these conditions.
3. Possibility of associations, clubs and individuals becoming involved in violation of the United States immigration laws in the importation of star players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Sweden.

From the above, it would seem that the attitude of the National Council instead of courting reconciliation along amicable lines is attempting to persuade the clubs that have severed relations with the body to enter the competition with threats of possible legal action. The American League clubs as well as those who represent the Middle West are sitting pretty and have little to worry insofar as the success of the campaigning is concerned. Old soccer fans, of course, would regret to see the National Challenge Cup competition pass out of the picture but then would be perfectly satisfied to have the strongest clubs in the country arrange a competition which at the conclusion would leave the survival of the fittest to claim the National soccer honors.

Reason for Being Alarmed
There is plenty of reason why the new administration of the U. S. F. A., should be alarmed for, with the leading clubs eliminated in the competition, the association would be denied its chief source of revenue, the funds which were vitally necessary to finance the operation of the association. Figures are available to prove that the National Cup competition is the chief source of revenue, and of the $15,000 accruing to the National Treasury from the source last season, approximately $12,500 came from matches involving American League and St. Louis clubs which have announced their intention of remaining out of the competition in the coming season. Since the game has developed to a stage where great expense is involved in securing larger playing fields and that the cost of leading professional talent is running much higher than in previous years, the attitude of the league clubs in regards to the division of the gate receipts seems justified. It is their only means of giving the public the best soccer available.

Only One Dissenting Vote
Quite recently the American Soccer League, with but one club dissenting, voted to bar its members from the National Cup series in the forthcoming season. Although not officially announced it is believed that the dissenting club was the Brooklyn Wanderers, a club which it is understood is entered in the competition and the only professional soccer club in the country that has been privileged with a place on the schedule for the touring Corinthians, who will shortly play in America. Prior to the action of the American Soccer League, the St. Louis circuit adopted a by-law under which any of its clubs entering the National competition will automatically forfeit its league franchise. And the Chicago National League Bricklayers, Olympia, Thistles and Spartan-Union has made plain its intention to withhold from the U. S. F. A.'s competition.

All Brought About by Association
From parties closely associated with the activities of the American Soccer League it is said that the present situation of the U. S. F. A., and the attitude of the clubs withdrawing from the cup competition, was brought about entirely by the action of the National Council recently in annual session in Detroit. The National Council refused to accede to the demands made by the representatives of the American League and probably has since regretted its action. The league asked no more than what is contended that it was entitled to in its effort to develop the sport in this country. Most important was individual recognition as being associated with the National body; elimination from the earlier rounds of the cup competition; arranging schedules so that cup games will not interfere with league and a better division for the clubs of the cup gate receipts. These were the most important of the requests made to the National Association. When the moguls meet in New York there is a possibility that the American League clubs will enter the cup competition if these requests are granted. However, the wise ones believe that differences will not be adjusted, in spite of threats of legal action, and that the league organization have mustered together their forces to operate as an individual unit. NO matter what the final outcome of the meeting will be, those who attend will no doubt be involved in a stormy session.

Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club