It’s been reported that Sheffield FC, the World’s first football club, are planning to auction an archive of historical documents that include a pamphlet containing the original handwritten rules of 1858. Auctioneers estimate that the archive could fetch in excess of one million pounds. Money that club chairman Richard Tims says is essential to ensure the future of the club.
This is what all the fuss is about. These rules were on display at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground for a period last year and here is a photo I took when I visited at the back end of 2010. Given the immense cultural and sporting worth of the archive I hope it will end up on public display somewhere, preferably in Sheffield or at the National Football Museum. My fear is that a private investor concerned only with the investment value will buy the archive and lock it away in a vault. Awaiting the right market conditions for it’s sale much the way the rarest and most valuable stamps in the world are traded. I certainly hope this won’t be the case.