22 June 1908

22Jun08

On this day in 1908 Queen’s Park Rangers were readmitted to the Southern League, a competition they had won in 1907-08, only to be expelled from shortly afterwards. Thier ‘crime’ was to apply for membership of the Football League. Two other Southern League clubs (Bradford PA and Tottenham Hotspur) had also applied to join the Football League and as a result all three were asked to resign from the comeptition. The two London clubs failed to respond and were expelled. Bradford were elected to the Second Division of the Football League, Spurs were currently without a competition for 1908-09, while QPR withdrew their application and were eventually accepted back into the fold. This took membership of the Southern League First Division to 21, and as a condition of their return QPR were forced to accept that most of their fixtures would be played in midweek – a measure that in the days before floodlighting meant minimal attendances and therefore a significant reduction in income.

On the same day tickets went on sale for the athletics competitions for the Olympic Games at White City Stadium, due to take place from 13 to 25 July. A total of 2 million tickets were available, but prices were set at too high a level and this, combined with poor weather, produced abysmal attendances in the first week of the events. The arena was virtually empty, and the number of paying spectators on occasions fell below 10,000 in a stadium that was said to hold 91,000. The organisers were eventually forced to cut most ticket prices by 50 per cent, a move which helped increase the turnout for the later events. Soccer was not part of the Summer Games, but was included along with rugby, hockey, lacrosse, boxing and skating in the Autumn Games, which took place in October.

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