By David Owen
November 15 – The oldest club in Scotland has finally stopped trying to hold back the tide of history and bowed to modernity. Members of Queen’s Park, founded in 1867, have voted to permit the club to offer professional contracts.
The club, whose days of playing at Hampden Park also look to be drawing to a close, was once a dominant force in Scottish football, winning the Scottish Cup 10 times between 1874 and 1893. When Scotland played England in the first international football match in 1872 (a 0-0 draw), all eleven Scottish players played for Queen’s Park.
Nowadays, however, the one-time pioneers of modern, passing football operate in Scotland’s fourth tier. They currently sit between Elgin City and Annan Athletic about halfway up Ladbrokes League Two, with four wins and five defeats. As the statement announcing the historic vote acknowledged, maintaining senior league status is a real concern.
The statement in full read as follows: “We can announce that the resolution to enable the club to offer professional terms has passed. The club would like to thank the members and supporters for their interest and input over the past few months.
“We recognise the difficulty in introducing this resolution, however, we believe this will enable us to plan for a bright future, as we face up to the challenges of moving from the National Stadium and maintaining our senior league place.”
And so the last remaining amateur club in the Scottish Professional Football League – motto: Ludere Causa Ludendi – Play for the Sake of Playing – is turning pro. Their first match after the historic vote is set to be at Cowdenbeath, the ‘Blue Brazil’, on Saturday.
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