English football’s axis of power has shifted south – where the wealth is
The relegation of Hull, Middlesbrough and Sunderland, teams from former industrial powerhouse cities, reflects the country’s growing economic divide
And the reason the North was the centre of football (well, plus the Midlands and London) is because that’s where all the wealth was when it became a popular and organised sport.
It’s entirely correct to say that there’s been a regional divide these past 300 years in England (at least). But for the first 150 years the South, especially the South West, was on the wrong end of it.
One example – forgotten the decade as it was some time ago I read about it but probably 1830s, 1840s ish – farm labourer wages were 25 shillings a week up North, no rent to pay on the veg patch and potato field etc. Same time, rent to be paid and 8 shillings a week in Dorset. The North had to compete with the alternative jobs in the factories, Dorset was, even by the standards of the time, grossly poor.