The business of player transfers tends to be undertaken in private, behind closed doors although there is plenty of noise and rumour that accompanies speculation about individual players in the media.
In times gone by, players would advertise their availability and similarly, clubs would advertise their needs. The following are classified adverts from the Athletic News.
The above is from 1929, a difficult time to be an unemployed footballer.
The following dates from May, 1925 when Bradford City AFC (as well as Bradford Park Avenue) advertised their rebuilding plans. Of course, only first-class players were required.
Historically both clubs also relied upon the networks of their managers as well as recommendations made to them. In the first few years of City’s existence there was reliance upon outsiders to build the playing squad given a dearth of local talent (principally because the game was much less established and there was a lack of strong junior clubs in West Yorkshire). However by the inter-war period local junior talent was very much the preferred option as a cheaper alternative and both Bradford clubs actively promoted trials.
Bradford City also benefited from the network of Tom Paton in Scotland whose introductions provided the basis of the 1911 FA Cup winning squad. Sadly his role in the club’s success has tended to be overlooked but undoubtedly, Glorious 1911 was of his making as much as manager, Peter O’Rourke.
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