6 milestone transfers in football history
Football has changed drastically in a number of ways since the introduction of professionalism by the Football Association in 1885. The biggest and most obvious change that has taken place is the amount of money involved in the game.
The investment of large amounts of money has impacted every aspect of football, from the infrastructure of the clubs to the television rights and most significantly, the valuation and wages of the players.
“No player in the world is worth £10,000”, said Sir Charles Clegg, the British FA President in 1928 when Arsenal came to an agreement with Bolton Wanderers for their star man David Jack for the then world record fee of £10,890. Little did he know just how much the landscape of football would change in the coming years.
Keeping that quote in mind, let’s take a look at the milestone transfers in football history.
The first £100 player - Willie Groves
The first professional player transfer took place in 1893 when Scottish striker Willie Groves was transferred to Aston Villa from West Bromwich Albion for a fee of £100. The transfer took place in rather odd circumstances. West Brom were in talks with Everton over a possible transfer of their star player, but in the meantime, Groves himself was in personal discussions with Aston Villa.
Much to the chagrin of West Brom, the 24-year-old Scotsman agreed to sign with Villa of his own volition. Albion approached the FA over the matter, which resulted in Villa being fined £50 for an illegal approach. The massive transfer fee of £100 was of little consolation to West Brom, as Groves went on to lead Villa to their first ever league championship.