One of the saddest parts of modern football is the way in which the non-Premier League divisions have been neglected and forgotten by the mainstream media. Take a look through some old cigarette card collections or the wonderful Football League Review magazine and you’ll find that although not necessarily billed as equals with First Division clubs, many of the smaller lower league sides were included and covered alongside many of the giants of English football. Liverpool sitting between Lincoln and Luton, Tottenham betwixt Torquay and Tranmere.
Not only would Football League sides be given similar billing as top flight clubs, but the Scottish League would be given equivalent billing to their English counterparts (though most likely listed after all business related to England had been concluded). It would seem remarkable for any sticker collecting eight year old that albums in the 1980’s would include both the English First Division as well as the Scottish Premier League.
I think these few pages from a book released in 1978 named Purnell’s Encyclopaedia of Association Football illustrate a rustic egalitarian view of football that many books in its day did. Liverpool between Lincoln and Luton, Tottenham betwixt Torquay and Tranmere. In a few short years after this book was released clubs began selling sponsorship on the front of their kits.
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