Chasing The Argonauts

In the name of “progress”, we continue to be reminded about the dangers of frachising in football, and we continue to be right to stay vigilant against attempts to parachute teams into the Football League or senior non-league football. The fundamental principle is that, subject to concerns over the health and safety of large crowds, newly-formed clubs should start at the bottom and work their way up. The history of the game is littered with such attempts. Idle dreams of fame and riches mixed with rampant egotism means that there will always be people seeking a quick route to the top of English football, from Chelsea being formed to make use of the then-vacant Stamford Bridge right through to the enforced relocation of Wimbledon FC. Ultimately, it is down to the authorities to ensure that this doesn’t happen and it is the responsibility of all football supporters to campaign against it, wherever the issue seems likely to raise its ugly head. Perhaps the strangest case of attempting to franchise, however, came in the late 1920s when a stalwart of the amateur game decided that it was about time that those confounded professionals needed to be taught a lesson and tried to get his club – which never even played a single match – voted into the Football League. His club was called Argonauts FC. RW (Dick) Stoley was a...

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