Being labeled the oldest professional soccer club in the world would bring an large amount of pride and potentially, a huge amount of sales. The headline of being the oldest professional club has been claimed by countless teams in England, where the sport started so many years ago. Prior to the earliest competitions were held in England the Football Association was established with the office game regulations back in 1863.
Premier League team, Crystal Palace Football Club are now laying claim to the title of the world’s oldest professional soccer club. There is no doubt Sheffield FC is the world’s oldest soccer team having been formed in 1857, but until now Notts County was thought to be the oldest professional soccer team having formed in 1862. Peter Manning, the official Crystal Palace historian believes that the London based club is the oldest professional club as he has uncovered new information supporting his theory.
According to Sky Sports the club historian has uncovered evidence that the Crystal Palace team was formed in 1861. As part of the world fair being held on the Crystal Palace site in 1862, under the guidance of the Crystal Palace Company, the team was formed and began playing games.
The Crystal Palace team was initially formed to play cricket and would schedule soccer games around the summer cricket season. It was originally thought the soccer team was disbanded in 1876 to avoid damaging the cricket pitch. The team continued to play, according to Manning over the apparent 20 year break before starting to play in the dedicated soccer stadium built by the Crystal Palace Company.
The Crystal Palace Chairman praised Manning for adding more prestige to the Premier League team. The club and the Football Association share a rich history dating back to the Football Associations formation in 1863 and the clubs participation in the 1871 FA Cup. The development of the Crystal Palace Football Club began in earnest when the cricket team merged with the legendary London County Cricket Club that was once the home of the iconic cricketer W.G, Grace.