Foundation Of English Football Clubs – Legal Fiction Or Sociological Phenomenon?Sat, 23 August 2008
If a club was formed in say for instance 1920, then changed there name in 1990, as long as there were no mergers along the way, and it was just pure name changes, I would say the club was formed in 1920.
So how about us then?
Formed as Apsley End FC in 1883 – changed name to Apsley FC in 1885 – Changed name again to Hemel Hempstead Town in 1949.
Brocks Sports & Social founded 1934 – changed name to Greenhills FC – 1953 – changed name to Adeyfield Athletic Fc 1955 – changed name to Hemel Hempstead United 1960.
Hemel Hempstead Town & Hemel Hempstead United merged 1972 to form Hemel Hempstead FC** – changed name back to Hemel Hempstead Town FC 1998
**Original Hemel Hempstead FC formed 1998 and disbanded 1922 nothing to do with Apsley club.
In my view, the crux of the issue is whether one sees football clubs in narrow legal terms, as companies coming into existence on their date of incorporation, or in broader sociological terms, determined by a continuous link to a fan base and community.
As set out in the earlier post and the comments thereto, my personal view is that football clubs represent a broader sociological phenomenon.
In the context of football clubs, the term “club” is itself usually a misnomer – while the ordinary meaning of the term refers to an unincorporated association, most football clubs are companies with corporate personalities.
Jurisprudence recognizes that corporate personality is a legal fiction, which strictly speaking, is only enforceable in a court of law.
There can be no agreement when fundamental premises are so at odds. When fundamental premises are as divergent as this, there is actually no argument at all.