Wartime League

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The Wartime League was a football league competition held in England during World War II, which replaced the suspended Football League. The exclusion of the FA Cup in these years saw the creation of the Football League War Cup.

On 14 September 1939, the government announced football games would continue but not under the divisions that the game traditionally held season to season. The Football League survived 33 League Division 1 matches before it was abandoned. After a fifty mile travelling limit was established, the football association divided the football league into separate regional leagues with reduced attendance numbers. In the interests of public safety, the number of spectators allowed to attend these games was limited to 8,000. These arrangements were later revised, and clubs were allowed gates of 15,000 from tickets purchased on the day of the game through the turnstiles.

Chelsea were part of a Southern Group division in 1939, also consisting of Arsenal, Brentford, Charlton Athletic, Fulham, Millwall, Portsmouth, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.

It is unclear about matches at reserve level although it seems that, for most of the wartime period competitive football at reserve level ceased for the next six seasons; although it is known that there was some kind of "League" in the 1940/41 season and the London Combination resumed in the 1945/46 season. In addition there were a few friendly matches played by the reserve team.


Wartime League
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