Liverpool Football Club, 1892 (Photo courtesy lfchistory.net)
On this historic day Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Ltd was formally recognized by the British Board of Trade. Four years earlier Everton FC was formed as one of the foundation clubs of the fledgling Football League, and the club played its games on a stretch of green between Anfield Road and Walton Breck Road.
The ground was owned by John Houlding who was a Tory Member of Parliament, and who would become club President, and future Mayor of Liverpool. A dispute between Houlding and the rest of the Club executives over the rent to be paid resulted in Everton vacating the grounds.
Between 1884 and 1889 the rent increased from £100 to £250 per year, yet here was Houlding proposing another rent increase in 1890, plus the bold suggestion that the club should buy Anfield (and an adjacent property from him). The Board demurred, and the two factions parted ways.
The reality, however, was that Houlding had made an interest-free loan to Everton FC and saw this opportunity as a great way to be rewarded for his initial risk in the club, as well as for the club to own its own grounds, with room for expansion.
Whether he was being visionary or a mercenary depends on whether one’s perspective ran Red or Toffee blue, but no matter, Liverpool FC rose from the ashes of the dispute, and the rest as they say, is history.