6th May 1931
Scottish Football Association Annual Meeting
Cup Competitions Reorganisation Approved
A lively discussion took place when consideration was given in the proposed alterations of cup competition rules as recommended by the Council. Moving their approval, the Chairman said the proposal affected the Qualifying and Scottish Cups.
At present the number of qualifiers was 22, and if the alterations were passed these would be reduced to eight. Present exemptions from the Scottish Cup proper would be reduced from 42 to the number of clubs comprising the First and Second Division of the League. Two cups would be provided for the Qualifying Cup competition – one for the north and one for the south. The Association would present medals to the winners of the trophies.
Mr Campbell said that he did not think there could be any argument put forward for the continuance of the existing position of the Qualifying and Scottish Cup competitions. To suggest that they could continue the existing state of matters would mean that clubs who were not bona-fide clubs might enter the Scottish Cup proper without having played a tie. He thought that at this time of day they must eliminate any such possibility. If the alteration was passed it would mean that only those clubs which had got into the fourth round of the Qualifying Cup could have a chance of entering the Scottish Cup. That would make certain that only bona-fide clubs could enter the Scottish Cup, and he contended that it would be to the betterment of the qualifying competition itself.
The idea of having two cups was to avoid long journeys and the great expense entailed upon a club in the North and a club in the South meeting in the final of the Qualifying Cup. The drawings at the Qualifying Cup finals, he said, were not commensurate with the expense involved. They would have better gates and more keen competition than at present existed, and he thought that the proposal would make for an improvement in the competition. It was an extraordinary thing but for the last few years they had more clubs in the Scottish Cup proper than in the Qualifying Cup. They would agree that this state of affair was quite contrary to what they desired.
Colonel Shaughnessy, seconding, asked the members not to run away with the idea that any of the big clubs in Glasgow objected to going to Inverness or anywhere else far distant. They did not. Personally he thought it was a farce to have clubs in the Scottish Cup who had never kicked a ball in the Qualifying Cup competition. It was to get rid of that farce that these recommendations were put before them.
Mr J. Rutherford, Perth, in moving the status quo, said that though the resolution was being put forward by the Council, it was by no means unanimous. He thought the reduction was far too drastic, as it meant fourteen fewer clubs in the Scottish Cup, and, unfortunately, these were the clubs who were not associated with the Scottish League. The argument put forward that this was to prevent bogus clubs entering the Scottish Cup, and at any rate 14 never did. It was an extraordinary thing that Scottish League clubs were not in favour in any reduction in the League to benefit League football, but apparently they were in favour of a solution in the Scottish Cup competition to benefit Scottish football. How they could be reconciled to those ideas he did not know.
Mr Rutherford complained that when the Committee considered the proposition, the country clubs were not consulted. He contended that the proposals were bad, and that the Committee should be asked to recast them on a more equitable basis.
Mr A. Forbes, Inverness, seconded. He felt that the proposals were not for the benefit of football in general throughout the country. They were quite prepared as provincial clubs to meet them halfway by reducing the number of qualifiers to 16, but could not see their way to agree that it was in the interests of the game to reduce the number to eight.
Supporting the motion, Mr Fleming, Paisley, said that, regarding the Qualifying Cup competition, they felt that the clubs would be amply compensated by the increased support.
On a vote being taken, the proposals were approved by 35 votes to 21.
Ref: Scotsman 7th May 1931
6th May 1931