Debate Grows Around ‘Oldest Soccer Club’ Claims
Soccer is by far the most preferred sport in the world and staking claims of being the oldest professional club worldwide brings with it a large amount of pride and likely revenue. There has been a good number of claims to the title of oldest professional club since the start of organized soccer. The Football Association was established in England in 1863 with the standardizing of the rules of the game taking place before the very first competitions were created.
The title of the world’s oldest professional club is now being claimed the Premier League team, the Crystal Palace Football club. The Notts County team was thought to be the oldest professional football club, having formed in 1862 but it seems the Sheffield FC is the oldest team since they were formed in 1857. It may turn out that the London team could be the oldest professional soccer club as Peter Manning, the Crystal Palace official historian has discovered evidence to support this.
The club historian has new evidence, according to Sky Sports that the Crystal Palace was formed in 1861. In 1862, the Crystal Palace Company started playing on the Crystal Palace site as part of the world fair.
Even though the Crystal Palace team was originally formed to play cricket, they would schedule soccer games around the summer cricket season. Everyone believed the team had split up in 1867 to save the cricket field from being damaged. According to Manning, there is new evidence that suggests the team continued to play soccer over what was an apparent 20 year break until the Crystal Palace Company built a dedicated soccer stadium for the team.
Peter Manning was praised by Crystal Palace Chairman Steve Parrish for his impressive work on the history of the club that could add even more prestige to the Premier League team. The club and the Football Association share a rich history dating back to the Football Associations formation in 1863 and the clubs participation in the 1871 FA Cup. The development of the Crystal Palace Football Club began in earnest when the cricket team merged with the legendary London County Cricket Club that was once the home of the iconic cricketer W.G, Grace.