World’s oldest football club take ‘tough decisions’ to safeguard future

Tims: Sheffield FC logo
Tims: Sheffield FC logo

SHEFFIELD FC, the oldest football club in the world, has a dream of moving back to their spiritual home.

The reality, though, is the non-league outfit have no choice but to sell off the family silver to try and make it happen.

It is with a heavy heart Club, who were founded back in 1857, are auctioning off football’s first rulebook in London tomorrow. It is 7/4 on with the bookies to fetch in between one and £1.3 million when it goes under the hammer.

With debts to pay, Sheffield FC chairman Richard Tims told The Star it was a “very difficult decision” to put the unique piece of sporting memorabilia up for sale.

He added: “It is a sad state of affairs. We have tried to promote the club on a local and international basis to generate income. Obviously, the economic climate has changed in recent years.”

Tims has confirmed a sizeable seven-figure sum may mean the club consider developing a new stadium at Olive Grove.

Sheffield FC currently play out of Sheffield, at Dronfield in north Derbyshire.

“If it (the piece) went for a lot of money, maybe the Olive Grove move would be back on,” he admitted. “But we have got a fantastic little ground now so it would have to be a substantial amount for us to move because we have invested quite a lot of effort and money here.”

The financial capital generated from the sale of the rulebook will be spent on paying off their mortgage, improving the changing room facilities at the club’s Dronfield ground and developing their pub and restaurant operations.

He added: “It would not be the end of the world if we didn’t sell it but that piece of history could generate a fantastic future for the football club.”