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Claims Over the Title ‘Oldest Soccer Club’ Causing Contention

Making claim to the title of the oldest professional soccer club across the world builds with it a large amount of pride and likely revenue. The headline of being the oldest professional club is still claimed by many teams in England, since the sport began so many years ago. The standardisation of the regulations of the game were created with the formation of Football Association in 1863 in England before the earliest competitions took place.

The Crystal Palace Football Club, one of the Premier League teams, is now claiming that they are the world’s oldest professional 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. Peter Manning, the official Crystal Palace historian believes that the London based club is the oldest professional club as he has uncovered new information supporting his theory.

Sky Sports reports the club historian has uncovered evidence Crystal Palace was formed in 1861. The club initially formed as part of the world fair held on the Crystal Palace site under the leadership of the Crystal Palace Company and began playing games in 1862.

The controversy over the role of Crystal Palace came about because the club was initially formed to play cricket with soccer games scheduled 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.

Steve Parrish, the Crystal Palace Chairman praised Peter Manning for his impressive work at the club. The club has a rich history that dates back to the 1863 formation of The Football Association and played in the first FA Cup competition in 1871. The history of the Crystal Palace Football Club starts when the team merged with the historical London County Cricket Club.

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