Sheffield FC's 'earliest' rules in football score $1.4m at Sotheby's sale



Economic woes are driving people to all sorts of alternative sources of income...

This includes Sheffield FC, the world's oldest football club whose finances are apparently in a parlous state.

Fortunately, the club had the good idea of turning to collectibles to alleviate its financial woes.

The result was a Sotheby's auction of the oldest known set of football rules, yesterday (July 14). The sale saw bidders battling it out for the original handwritten-drafted football rules (1858).

Also contained in the lot were the printed "Rules, Regulations, & Laws of the Sheffield Foot‐Ball Club" (1859).


Sheffields first rulebook of football

The rules make the game... "Rules, Regulations, & Laws of the
Sheffield Foot‐Ball Club"

Although the lot's higher estimate of £1.2m proved over-optimistic in the end, the rules still fell within expectations and nicely exceeded the £800,000 lower bracket.

In the end, they sold for £881,250 ($1,408,540) to an anonymous bidder.

One question on people's lips will be: was the buyer from Qatar? The UAE nation expressed significant interest in purchasing the book as part of its preparations for holding the World Cup in 2022.

The Qatari Royal family even viewed the book prior to the sale and were rumoured to be willing to bid as much as £3m ($4.8m).

Even though the rules didn't quite reach £3m, the buyer nevertheless has a set of very important historical documents on their hands.

And, given the ever-growing global popularity of football, the "Rules, Regulations, & Laws of the Sheffield Foot‐Ball Club"could sell for much more in the future.


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