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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter LII.—Poaching on Queen's Park

Poaching began very early in the club's League career, and the first to be called to account for trying to seduce Queen's Park players from their allegiance was Clyde F.C., who approached one of the Q.P.'s registered players without the consent of his club, and had obtained his signature to a League transfer form. This was a distinct breach of the Scottish League rules. Some correspondence took place in August, 1902, between the Queen's Park and Clyde, on the subject. Ultimately the injured club decided to place the matter before the committee of the Scottish League, without pressing for any penalty on Clyde F.C., but that, in the event of the League rules being violated in future by any club, the Queen's Park would insist on the extreme penalty being imposed. The club, however, granted the player, at his own request, his League transfer to Clyde F.C., 23rd October, 1902.

Newcastle United F.C. having illegally approached another of the Queen's Park registered League players, the club, notwithstanding probable heavy expense should the inquiry into the matter go against it, decided in its own interests to push the investigation to a conclusion. The International League Board met at Carlisle on two occasions. Messrs. Barnett and James Strang represented the Queen's Park, and gave evidence in support of the complaint. The board decided to censure Newcastle United F.C. for having withheld information which would have rendered the meetings of the Board unnecessary, and ordered that club to pay all the expenses of the inquiry. It proved an expensive matter for Newcastle United. The Queen's Park had suffered much in this way, and had been patient on previous occasions, but there was evidently a limit to its forbearance. Another similar case arose in December, 1908, when it was reported to the committee, that an English First Division League club had illegally approached a Queen's Park registered League player. It was also in this case decided to report the matter to the International League Board. Woolwich Arsenal F.C. was the suspect on this occasion. The International Board held a meeting at Carlisle, 16th January, 1909, when the case was adjourned until 27th February. The charge was found "not proven," and each club was ordered to pay its own expenses. It was a case of "not guilty," but don't do it again. As the Queen's Park had suffered through the defection of many players who had joined the professional ranks— some who had left the club with its consent, others who resigned and became paid players, and others again who had been illegally approached—the club was very sensitive on the subject, and Mr. Geake, the representative of the Queen's Park on the Scottish League committee, had often referred there to the injury done the club. The League committee met 13th April, 1911, for the purpose of considering alterations in the rules, and had requested the Queen's Park to formulate, and submit for consideration, if it so wished, rules for the prevention of its players leaving the club during the football season, or being interfered with by other League clubs during that time. Such a rule was duly formulated, and became law in the following July, and is still on the statute book. Not a moment too soon, as in this, and the preceding seasons, very serious inroads had been made in the ranks of the Queen's Park, who had lost quite a number of players, and during the off season of 1911 half a dozen prominent players had applied for, and been granted, transfers. Queen's Park dropped on Liverpool F.C. for illegally approaching a player, with a view to secure his transfer as a professional. The infringement was reported to the Scottish League. The complaint of the Queen's Park was considered by the International League Board, 14th August, 1911, at Carlisle, when Liverpool pled guilty, and were "fined 250 sterling, and ordered to pay the expenses of the Queen's Park. Mr. John Fare, one of the directors of Liverpool F.C, was suspended for two years from taking part in League football. Strange to relate, the board, six months later, 16th February, 1912, raised the suspension of Mr. Fare, without consulting the Queen's Park, on the ground that he had been sufficiently punished, nor did Liverpool pay the fine until the end of January, 1912—not very encouraging to the Queen's Park, after all the annoyance and trouble occasioned the club.

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