English Football Clubs (Ground Staffs)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st January 1958.

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Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan 12:00 am, 21st January 1958

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the increasing pressure on Scottish boys who have not yet attained the school leaving age of fifteen years to join the ground staffs of English football clubs; and what steps he proposes to take to stop this practice in view of the disturbing effect it has on the education of schoolboys in general.

Photo of Mr Niall Macpherson Mr Niall Macpherson , Dumfriesshire

My right hon. Friend has no information about approaches of this kind, but if, as he assumes, they take place outside school hours, he has no power to intervene.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

Did not the Joint Under-Secretary seek to get into touch with any of the authorities concerned? Evidently the English Football League recognises the problem raised in this Question. It has proposed the following rule to its members: …clubs shall not enter into any negotiations for registration, directly"—

Hon. Members:

Speech.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

I am merely giving the answer that the Joint Under-Secretary might have given.

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

It is not the function of the hon. Member to give an answer. He ought to ask a supplementary question, and ask it as briefly as he can.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

I was not intending to assume other duties; I was merely quoting a rule which is now proposed and which covers the point raised in my Question. The rule proposed by the English Football League to their members is as follows: …clubs shall not enter into any negotiations for registration, directly or indirectly, with an amateur player on the roll of a recognised school until the day following the end of the holidays on the term in which he leaves, or on the day he takes up full employment. In view of that decision of the English Football League, I am content to leave the matter as it is.