The History of Sport Played in China's Treaty Ports

The notice for the meeting called to re-establish the Shanghai Gymnasium after its disastrous merger with the Shanghai Athletic Club

Following the 1885 split of the two clubs, the SFC2 remained as part of the SAC for two more years. The relationship between the football players and the athletic club remained tense. It would appear that the SFC2 never really embraced being part of the SAC. The weight of the accumulated debt on the club was too much and the SAC was eventually forced to become insolvent. In its place, was born essentially the same club but without the debt the Shanghai Recreation Club. Under the direction of the SRC there were more disputes with the SFC2 players and no games were played. The lack of games led directly to the creation of a third Shanghai Football Club in November 1889 still theoretically under the not so welcoming wings of the SRC. 

  Less than three months before the SFC2 was established, the Shanghai Athletic Club (SAC) was reformed. By April 1882 the two clubs had merged retaining the Shanghai Athletic Club moniker under which the rugby team played. Not everybody was in favour in the union but the argument that a club with a larger member base would be more secure won the day. 

  The optimism felt on the merger was soon replaced by concern when the club ran up large debts. In 1883 discussions started to amalgamate the SAC (including the SFC2) with the Shanghai Gymnasium a long established club in Shanghai. 

  The merger was highly contentious, many were not convinced by the argument that the combined club would be in a better financial position acting as one, especially as the membership fee for the new club would be the same as the original clubs separate fees. However the argument won the day although a concession was agreed that the new club, named the Shanghai Athletic Club & Gymnasium (SACG)  would not takeover the debt from the SAC. 

  It was also agreed that there would be a grace period of fifteen months after which the success of the union would be reviewed. If the union was not deemed a success, the clubs would have the option to revert back to the original two entities. 

  The union was a disaster, the SACG nearly folded after numerous committee members resigned, and so fifteen months later the SFC2 was once again part of the SAC.


  

Announcements under the auspices of the Shanghai Athletic Club and Gymnasium for rugby match in December 1884 and for Association in February 1885

The troubled organisational structure of the second Shanghai Football Club (SFC2)

Announcement of the meeting establishing the second Shanghai Football Club.

  With the exception of one ad-hoc game of football in 1875, I have found no reference to organised football in Shanghai between the demise of the first Shanghai Football Club in 1870 and the start of the second Shanghai Football Club in 1881.

  The new club was formed at a meeting on 6 December 1881. Sadly the complicated history of this team was more about which organisation was running the club rather than the matches played. In the six years of its existence I have found just twenty-one games of rugby played.

  The club had been established to specifically play rugby football but both codes of football were actually played in the second SFC with most players choosing to play both codes, . 

The Club's first game was against the Navy followed by the first occurrence of the Captains vs Vice Captains XVs fixture in 1884. Other matches followed against the Shanghai Rowing Club, The Fire Brigade's Mi-Ho Loong Company, and in 1885 a team comprising English players called 'England' against 'The World' and a few weeks later the first of what would become an annual fixture 'England' vs 'Scotland'. 

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The second Shanghai Football Club