Question for the older posters on here.... | Vital Football

Question for the older posters on here....

Cookiejar

Vital Youth Team
#1
During the 80 and 90 did premier league/ division one teams have these huge squads like they do?

I seem to remember only collecting 14/15 panini stickers for each team?

What happened to all these 19 23 year olds we get on loan now back then? Were they just realised unless exceptional and find a club and worked there way back up?

I only remember seeing a loan arrive at the gills if a player was injured!
 

Gills 58

Vital 1st Team Regular
#2
Good point. Iirc Villa won the league in 1980/1 using only about 14 players (fact check anyone please?).

Much smaller squads in those days I think. Absurdly large squads now.
 

Cookiejar

Vital Youth Team
#3
I realise the amount of non British players was massively lower so maybe all these 'surplus' squad players were all getting a game somewhere
 

Gilles Lingam

Vital Youth Team
#4
If my memory serves me correctly, in the 60s & 70s the Gills (& presumably most other clubs) had besides their first team, a reserve team & a youth team. The reserves used to play at home when the first team were playing away & the youth team used to play at the Garrison ground on the Lines.
 

shotshy

Vital 1st Team Regular
#5
Foreign players were pretty rare.
I remember Ipswich signing a couple of Dutchmen which sorted of started it off.
There was a cap in those days but I cannot remember how many.
I recall that Irish didn’t count as Foreign in those days for some reason.

Many of the stars of those days were signed from the English lower leagues and Scotland.
The money not only stayed in football but mostly in England.
I think even huge international stars like Keegan started out at Scunthorpe or somewhere like that.
The first team squads were small but each team had a reserve side.
 

Whitstabletangerine

Vital Reserves Team
#6
If my memory serves me correctly, in the 60s & 70s the Gills (& presumably most other clubs) had besides their first team, a reserve team & a youth team. The reserves used to play at home when the first team were playing away & the youth team used to play at the Garrison ground on the Lines.
Indeed, Gillingham reserves at one point played in the Metropolitan league according to my 1965 programme, in fact top of the league near the end of the season in April '65.
I would on occasions if on leave and with the first team playing away go and watch Pool reserves in the Central league and pre season watched the two teams the Whites v the Tangerines play each other
We also had a number of youth teams, a couple of South African players and the first UK club to have a Chinese player..
 

GillsBluenose

Vital 1st Team Regular
#8
That's the problem with these young whipper snappers these days. They know nothing about "the good old days", "jumpers for goalposts, isn't it?" or "Freedom for Gimmers!"

Where was I? - Oh yes, as I remember, all teams in the old First Division had a reserve team in what was called The Football Combination and usually a third team/youth team in a regional league - called South East Counties in our case, as I remember. The former is confirmed here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Football_Combination

The difference is that the game is played at such a pace these days that there are far more strain type injuries (hamstrings/calves). There are also more fixtures so players are often rested by the top clubs. Substitutes were not introduced until the mid 60s and there was only one allowed for the following couple of decades, so no need for a massive squad - in the case of a serious knee injury or a broken leg, just one reserve would be promoted to the first team squad as cover.
 

markinkent

Vital 1st Team Regular
#10
Clubs didn't have a fraction of the TV money they do today so squads would have been smaller.

As others have said lots of Scots in the team whereas now they from all four corners of the world (how does a sphere have corners ?).
 

PhilK66

Vital 1st Team Regular
#12
Good point. Iirc Villa won the league in 1980/1 using only about 14 players (fact check anyone please?).

Much smaller squads in those days I think. Absurdly large squads now.
Chelsea, for example, have as many as 50 youth players on their books. They buy up as many "promising" young players around the UK and Europe but not that many eventually make the Chelsea first team squad and most are released or sold on like Bertrand for example.
 

chris who

Vital Football Hero
#14
I am in favour of a ceiling on the number of players over say 23 years old any club can sign.A figure of say 50 or 60 players is more than enough for injuries etc.It would still leave a maximum of a thousand to 1,200 premier league players. If loan players were included in any clubs total at both ends it would limit loans to other clubs at the same level.
 

Therealwaldo

Vital Squad Member
#16
I used to attend Gills matches in the Football Combination. 1st Division clubs (I.e. today’s Premiership) used to field teams so games against Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea were regular fixtures although at any one time some didn’t field a team in the division. Games against these teams regularly attracted crowds of more than 1,000, sometimes up to 2,000. A benefit of going was that you would find out the Gills score during the course of the match. In the early 60’s the only information you would get on away games on the TV or radio was a half time and a full time score. The only information on how we’d played would be the Sunday papers.
 

jogills

Vital 1st Team Regular
#18
Most of the older posters have remembered fairly well I think. A team like Chelsea would never have had the age range, or number of players signed to the club today. It has become absurd at that level. At our level we ran a full reserve team and some players stayed for years with barely a handful of first team appearances and would move on to local clubs.

If you look at the gillinghamscrapbook site it shows playing squads in the lower 20s throughout the 60s, not much different to today but I can remember reserve team players from that era not listed and they were not all youngsters. The loan scheme is the enabler of massive squads.
 

mehmets_curlies

Vital Squad Member
#19
That's the problem with these young whipper snappers these days. They know nothing about "the good old days", "jumpers for goalposts, isn't it?" or "Freedom for Gimmers!"

Where was I? - Oh yes, as I remember, all teams in the old First Division had a reserve team in what was called The Football Combination and usually a third team/youth team in a regional league - called South East Counties in our case, as I remember. The former is confirmed here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Football_Combination

The difference is that the game is played at such a pace these days that there are far more strain type injuries (hamstrings/calves). There are also more fixtures so players are often rested by the top clubs. Substitutes were not introduced until the mid 60s and there was only one allowed for the following couple of decades, so no need for a massive squad - in the case of a serious knee injury or a broken leg, just one reserve would be promoted to the first team squad as cover.
I remember an interview with Rodney Marsh. He was asked why so many players miss games through imjuries these days. His answer was that they are like machines these days and are super fit. So much so, that a slight twinge for us is a major injury to them. He said that in his day, players lifestyle was so bad that thay didn't have enough muscles to pull lol
 

nitram77

Vital 1st Team Regular
#20
Teams are paying a fortune today compared to the 50/60's, there wasn't the vast sums of money around and wages were a lot lower. Players once signed were trapped until the club no longer wanted them, until the Bosman ruling changed things forever.
Players were so badly paid, and conditions poor, that when a player was injured, there would be a blanket paraded at half time for people to throw money into for his food and rent. I don' know if this was for league 1(premiership), but certainly happened in the lower leagues.