1914–15 Southern Football League

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The 1914–15 season was the 21st in the history of the Southern League. Watford won Division One and Stoke finished top of the Division Two.[1] Stoke were the only club to apply for election to the Football League and were successful. However, the United Kingdom declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, thus entering World War I. The Football League and Southern League ceased operations until the war ended in November 1918. The next season would be 1919–20.

Division One[edit]

Southern Football League Division One
Season 1914–15
Champions Watford (1st title)
Promoted West Ham United
Relegated Croydon Common (resigned)
Matches played 380
Goals scored 1131 (2.98 per match)

A total of 20 teams contest the division, including 18 sides from previous season and two new teams.

Teams promoted from 1913-14 Division Two:

Pos Club P W D L GF GA Ave1 Pts2 Notes
1 Watford 38 22 8 8 68 46 1.48 52
2 Reading 38 21 7 10 68 43 1.58 49
3 Cardiff City 38 22 4 12 72 38 1.90 48
4 West Ham United 38 18 9 11 58 47 1.23 43 Elected to the 1919-20 Football League after World War I
5 Northampton Town 38 19 5 14 78 74 1.10 43
6 Southampton 38 19 5 14 78 74 1.05 43
7 Portsmouth 38 16 10 12 54 42 1.29 42
8 Millwall 38 16 10 12 50 51 0.98 42
9 Swindon Town 38 15 11 12 77 59 1.31 41
10 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 16 7 15 46 47 0.98 39
11 Exeter City 38 15 8 15 50 41 1.22 38
12 Queens Park Rangers 38 13 12 13 55 56 0.98 38
13 Norwich City 38 11 14 13 53 56 0.95 36
14 Luton Town 38 13 8 17 61 73 0.84 34
15 Crystal Palace 38 13 8 17 47 61 0.77 34
16 Bristol Rovers 38 14 3 21 53 75 0.71 31
17 Plymouth Argyle 38 8 14 16 51 61 0.84 30
18 Southend United 38 10 8 20 44 64 0.69 28
19 Croydon Common 38 9 9 20 47 63 0.75 27 Relegated to Division Two, but did not rejoin league after World War I
20 Gillingham 38 6 8 24 43 82 0.52 20

1 The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used up until the 1976–77 season.

2 The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.

Division Two[edit]

Southern Football League Division Two
Season 1914–15
Champions Stoke
Promoted Merthyr Town
Swansea Town
Brentford
Newport County
Stoke (to Football League)
Coventry City (to Football League)
Relegated Stalybridge Celtic (resigned)
Matches played 156
Goals scored 1131 (7.25 per match)

A total of 13 teams contest the division, including 9 sides from previous season, two teams relegated from Division One and two new teams.

Teams relegated from 1913-14 Division One:

Newly elected teams:

Pos Club P W D L GF GA Ave1 Pts2 Notes
1 Stoke 24 17 4 3 62 15 4.13 38 Elected to the 1919-20 Football League
2 Stalybridge Celtic 24 17 3 4 47 22 2.17 37 Promoted to Division One but left league after World War I to join the Lancashire Combination
3 Merthyr Town 24 15 5 4 46 20 2.30 35 Elected to 1919-20 Division One after World War I
4 Swansea Town 24 16 1 7 48 21 2.29 33
5 Coventry City 24 13 2 9 56 33 1.70 28 Elected to the 1919-20 Football League after World War I
6 Ton Pentre 24 11 6 7 42 43 0.98 28
7 Brentford 24 8 7 9 35 45 0.78 23 Elected to 1919-20 Division One after World War I
8 Llanelly 24 10 1 13 39 32 1.22 21
9 Barry 24 6 5 13 30 35 0.86 17
10 Newport County 24 7 3 14 27 42 0.64 17 Elected to 1919-20 Division One after World War I
11 Pontypridd 24 5 6 13 31 58 0.53 16
12 Mid Rhondda 24 3 6 15 17 49 0.35 12
13 Ebbw Vale 24 3 1 20 23 88 0.26 7

1 The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used up until the 1976–77 season.

2 The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.

Football League elections[edit]

1915[edit]

Stoke were the only Southern League club to apply for election to the Football League.[2] They were successful, and replaced Glossop North End, who received only one vote. However, the League ceased operations for the war after its AGM and did not resume until 1919.

Club League Votes
Leicster Fosse Football League 33
Stoke Southern League 21
South Shields North Eastern League 11
Chesterfield Midland League 8
Darlington North Eastern League 4
Glossop North End Football League 1

1919[edit]

Following World War I the Football League expanded from 40 to 44 clubs, creating four vacancies. Two Southern League clubs, Coventry City and West Ham United applied and were successful in the elections.

Club League Votes
Coventry City Southern League 35
West Ham United Southern League 32
South Shields North Eastern League 28
Rotherham County Midland League 28
Port Vale Central League 27
Southport Central League 7
Rochdale Lancashire Combination 7
Chesterfield Town Midland League 0

References[edit]