Leith Athletic 1901

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Cinneide
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Leith Athletic 1901

Post by Cinneide » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:11 am

Can anyone point to me to an online resource about, or summarise the key points of, Leith Athletic liquidating and starting a new club in August/September 1901. I have the following notes:
Leith Athletic FC Ltd agree to liquidate company and start new club. [ Daily Record 27/8]
Leith Athletic now in a position to proceed with league fixtures. Reconstituted club will take over old club’s liabilities. Need to find new ground.Had Leith dropped out, Falkirk, Albion Rovers and Wishaw Utd would have applied for their place [Evening Times 12/9]
Was this a financial decision or a sporting one? Did they find a new ground? They appeared to transition with no great fuss.
[url=http://www.PTEarlyYears.net/]Partick Thistle - The Early Years - A Club History Online[/url]

Boris57
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Re: Leith Athletic 1901

Post by Boris57 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:23 pm

I can provide a bit of background from my own research. Leith originally played at Hawkhill Recreation Grounds from 1887 but then moved a short distance to Bank Park then Beechwood Park (basically adjacent but not the same park as I've read in places). When a new railway line was being built into Leith Central Leith had to vacate the footprint of land just off Lochend Road on which Bank Park & Beechwood park lay) & they negotiated a move back - almost just across the road - to Hawkhill. However, as before, the rent was high & by the end of the 1900/01 season Leith were in severe financial trouble.

On 26 August 1901 the Ltd Co shareholders met in the Libberal clubrooms on Leith & voted to liquidate the company. They also vowed to act quickly to try to resurrect a new club to hopefully continue in senior football. A public meeting was held in the Kinnaird Halls in Leith on 4 September & a Committee was formed to look into forming a new club & finding a new ground. On 11 September the Scottish Football League Division 2 Committee met in Glasgow & accepted an application from "the reconstituted Leith club to proceed with league fixtures". The new club had in fact already played their first competitive game on 7 September away to West Calder in the Scottish Qualifying Cup. West Calder had submitted a protest before the game on the basis that this "reconstituted" club was not the same club they had been drawn against but in the end it didn't matter as they beat Leith 3-0 anyway.

Still without a ground in the early part of the season, local rivals Hibs came to the rescue & Leith's early league fixtures were played at Easter Road. Leith then negotiated the lease of a ground at Logie Green in the Canonmills area of Edinburgh & their first game there was on 9 November when they played Port Glasgow Athletic.

It wasn't Leith's first ground move & it certainly wouldn't be their last!

Hope that all helps to answer your query.

Cinneide
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Re: Leith Athletic 1901

Post by Cinneide » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:47 pm

Thanks. That's interesting. Is it possible, or likely, that they went into liquidation to avoid future high rent on Hawkhill?
[url=http://www.PTEarlyYears.net/]Partick Thistle - The Early Years - A Club History Online[/url]

Boris57
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Re: Leith Athletic 1901

Post by Boris57 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:09 pm

All my research has been done via local & national newspapers of the time & any minute books, etc are sadly long gone so I can't be sure but certainly the high rent at Hawkhill had been a factor in both spells there. Leith's financial problems were more widespread than that though & it's clear from the newspaper comments of the time that their problems began from the conversion to a Ltd Co in June 1893. Throughout the club's history they seem to have moved from one financial crisis to another every few years - story of Scottish football really!!!

My interpretation of the events relating to Hawkhill during the club's 2 spells there is that they wanted to maintain a degree of financial independence as there were clear links between the club's foundation in the summer of 1887 & the building of the Hawkhill Recreation Grounds by the Hawkhill Recreation Grounds Company at the same time. Basically they wanted their own ground & the control over their finances that gave them & the high rent at Hawkhill combined with low crowds had placed them in financial trouble with liquidation the only answer. I think it's clear though from how rapidly things moved from going into liquidation to the new club being accepted into the league that they'd done their homework before taking the drastic step. As I say though, that's just my interpretation of events.

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