Saturday, March 15, 2014

15 March 1892 - Their Mascot Should Have Been A Phoenix

On 15 March 1892, former Everton FC chairman John Houlding, who had left the Toffees over issues related to his ownership of their Anfield Road ground, founded a new club to use the ground. Originally named Everton Athletic, the club soon took a new name - Liverpool FC.

A brewer by trade, Houlton negotiated the lease of the Anfield Road ground for Everton in 1884, after they had been asked to leave their previous ground by the ground's owner, who was unhappy with the crowd noise on matchdays. A year later, Houlton bought Anfield outright, placing the club in the awkward position of having to pay rent to their president.

Nevertheless, the move was successful for Everton, who became one of the Football League's founding clubs in 1888 and won their first League title in 1891. But tensions between the club and Houlding continued, due largely to Houlding's decision to raise the rent on Anfield by 150% in 1890. The club grew increasingly convinced that Houlding was placing his personal financial interest over the interests of the club and, on 18 April 1892, Everton played their last match at Anfield.

By that point, Anfield was an international-class ground, accommodating over 20,000 people. In order to create some leverage against Everton, as well as provide an additional tenant for his ground, Houlding, on 15 March 1892, created Everton Athletic. His original intention was to replace the existing Everton with his newly-created Everton Athletic, taking over his old club's fixtures and League position, but the Football League rejected his attempt and forced him to rename the club. He eventually settled on Liverpool FC.

Since then, Liverpool has become one of the most successful clubs in English football, winning 18 League titles. They have also won the European Cup/Champions League title five times, the most of any English club.

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