Definitions

inter road

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Founded
1955
Dissolved
1971
Continent
Europe
Number of Teams
12–64

The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971. The competition was the idea of Swiss pools supremo, Ernst Thommen, Ottorino Barassi from Italy and the English FA general secretary, Stanley Rous, all of whom later became senior officials at FIFA. As the name suggests, the competition was set up to promote international trade fairs. Friendly games were regularly held between teams from cities holding trade fairs and it was from these games that the competition evolved. The competition was initially only open to teams from cities that hosted trade fairs and where these teams finished in their national league had no relevance. Early competitions also featured a one city, one team rule. After 1968 it was sometimes referred to as the Runners Up Cup, with teams now qualifying based on league position. In 1971 it was replaced by the UEFA Cup. While the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup is considered to be the predecessor to the UEFA Cup, UEFA do not consider the tournament to be an official UEFA contest.

History

Spanish era

The first competition was to be held over two seasons to avoid clashes with national leagues fixtures. However, because it was also intended to coincide with trade fairs it ran over into a third year. It commenced in 1955 and eventually finished in 1958. Cities that entered teams included Basle, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Vienna, Cologne, Lausanne, Leipzig, London, Milan and Zagreb. The first competition included a group stage and also featured some city representative teams instead of clubs. The eventual finalists were Barcelona and a London XI. While the latter side consisted of players from eleven different clubs, the former was effectively FC Barcelona with one player from RCD Espanyol. After a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, Barcelona emerged triumphant after winning the return 6-0. A second tournament took place between 1958 and 1960. This time the group stage format was abandoned in favour of a knockout tournament. FC Barcelona retained the cup, beating Birmingham City F.C. 4-1 in the final.

The third tournament was held over the course of the 1960-61 season and all subsequent tournaments were completed over one season. The season also saw the holders, FC Barcelona, compete in both the Fairs Cup and European Cup. During the early days of European competition, these tournaments were effectively rivals and there was little or no co-ordination between the administrators running them. However, the European Cup quickly established itself as the premier club competition, largely because it had the advantage of featuring national league champions and was completed in a single season from the very start. The efforts of FC Barcelona ended in failure in both competitions. In the Fairs Cup quarter-finals they lost 7-6 on aggregate to Hibernian F.C. while in the European Cup they were beaten in the final by SL Benfica. A.S. Roma took three games to beat Hibernian in the semi-finals before they progressed to the final. Birmingham City reached their second final in two years but once again they were defeated. After a 2-2 draw at home, they lost the 2-0 to Roma in the return.

The 1961-62 season saw the rules amended to allow three teams from each country to enter. The one city, one team rule was temporarily abandoned and the cities of Edinburgh, Milan and Barcelona were represented by two teams each. The former entered both Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian, the second was represented by both FC Internazionale and AC Milan, while the latter entered both FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol. This increase in teams resulted in Spanish teams continuing to dominate the competition. FC Barcelona were now regularly joined by Valencia CF and Real Zaragoza. These three clubs won the competition six times between them from 1958 to 1966. The Fairs Cup also saw three all-Spanish finals in 1962, 1964 and 1966. The 1962 final saw Valencia CF beat FC Barcelona 7-3 on aggregate and in 1963 they retained the title after beating Dinamo Zagreb with a 4-1 aggregate score. They reached their third final in 1964 but lost 2-1 to Real Zaragoza in a single game at the Camp Nou.

The 1965 edition saw a record entry of 48 teams, testimony to the growing status of the Fairs Cup. It also produced only the second final not to feature a Spanish team. Ferencvaros of Hungary beat Juventus F.C. in another single game final. The 1966 competition attracted attention for all the wrong reasons. Chelsea F.C. were pelted with rubbish at AS Roma and Leeds United F.C. fought a bruising encounter with Valencia CF which ended with three dismissals. Leeds United also had Johnny Giles sent off in the semi-final against Real Zaragoza. The final saw FC Barcelona beat Real Zaragoza 4-3 on aggregate.

English era

The 1967 tournament saw the emergence of English clubs with Leeds United reaching the final. Although they lost to Dinamo Zagreb, they returned the following season and defeated Ferencvaros to become the first English club to win the competition. The subsequent victories of Newcastle United F.C. and Arsenal F.C. and a second win for Leeds United saw English clubs winning the last four Fairs Cup tournaments. The last final saw Leeds United declared winners on away goals after drawing with Juventus 3-3 on aggregate.

UEFA Cup

The 1971-72 season saw the competition taken over by UEFA and relaunched as the UEFA Cup. By replacing the trophy, renaming the competition and revising the entry regulations, UEFA effectively ended the Fairs Cup. On 22 September 1971, a one-off match was played between cup-holders Leeds United and three-time winners FC Barcelona to decide who would gain permanent possession of the original trophy. Barcelona won this play-off 2-1.

Among the changes was the abandonment of the "one city one team" rule, which had had a particularly bad effect on English entrants for 1969-70, when Liverpool (2nd), Arsenal (4th), Southampton (7th) and Newcastle (9th) got the places, at the expense of Everton (3rd), Chelsea (5th), Spurs (6th) and West Ham (8th). But the rule was only dropped in 1976, when Everton having come 4th would have been excluded thanks to Liverpool's 2nd place finish. Their protest that the rule was an anachronism was upheld.

Finals

Season Home Team Score Away Team Venue

1971 Trophy Play-Off CF Barcelona
(ESP)
2 - 1 Leeds United
(ENG)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
Single match play-off

1970/71 Details Juventus
(ITA)
2 - 2 Leeds United
(ENG)
Stadio Comunale,
Turin
Leeds United
(ENG)
1 - 1 Juventus
(ITA)
Elland Road,
Leeds
Aggregate: 3-3
Leeds United won on away goals

1969/70 Details Anderlecht
(BEL)
3 - 1 Arsenal
(ENG)
Parc Astrid,
Brussels
Arsenal
(ENG)
3 - 0 Anderlecht
(BEL)
Highbury,
London
Arsenal won 4-3 on aggregate

1968/69 Details Newcastle United
(ENG)
3 - 0 Újpest FC
(HUN)
St. James' Park,
Newcastle
Újpest FC
(HUN)
2 - 3 Newcastle United
(ENG)
Megyeri úti Stadium,
Budapest
Newcastle United won 6-2 on aggregate

1967/68 Details Leeds United
(ENG)
1 - 0 Ferencvaros
(HUN)
Elland Road,
Leeds
Ferencvaros
(HUN)
0 - 0 Leeds United
(ENG)
Nepstadion,
Budapest
Leeds United won 1-0 on aggregate

1966/67 Details Dinamo Zagreb
(YUG)
2 - 0 Leeds United
(ENG)
Maksimir,
Zagreb
Leeds United
(ENG)
0 - 0 Dinamo Zagreb
(YUG)
Elland Road,
Leeds
Dinamo Zagreb won 2-0 on aggregate

1965/66 Details CF Barcelona
(ESP)
0 - 1 Real Zaragoza
(ESP)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
Real Zaragoza
(ESP)
2 - 4
aet
CF Barcelona
(ESP)
La Romareda,
Zaragoza
Barcelona won 4-3 on aggregate

1964/65 Details Juventus
(ITA)
0 - 1
Ferencvaros
(HUN)
Stadio Comunale,
Turin
Single match played

1963/64 Details Real Zaragoza
(ESP)
2 - 1 Valencia CF
(ESP)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
Single match played

1962/63 Details Dinamo Zagreb
(YUG)
1 - 2 Valencia CF
(ESP)
Maksimir,
Zagreb
Valencia CF
(ESP)
2 - 0 Dinamo Zagreb
(YUG)
Luis Casanova Stadium,
Valencia
Valencia CF won 4-1 on aggregate

1961/62 Details Valencia CF
(ESP)
6 - 2 CF Barcelona
(ESP)
Luis Casanova Stadium,
Valencia
CF Barcelona
(ESP)
1 - 1 Valencia CF
(ESP)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
Valencia CF won 7-3 on aggregate

1960/61 Details Birmingham City
(ENG)
2 - 2 A.S. Roma
(ITA)
St Andrews,
Birmingham
AS Roma
(ITA)
2 - 0 Birmingham City
(ENG)
Stadio Olimpico,
Rome
AS Roma won 4-2 on aggregate

1958/60 Details Birmingham City
(ENG)
0 - 0 CF Barcelona
(ESP)
St Andrews,
Birmingham
CF Barcelona
(ESP)
4 - 1 Birmingham City
(ENG)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
CF Barcelona won 4-1 on aggregate

1955/58 Details London XI
(ENG)
2 - 2 CF Barcelona
(ESP)
Stamford Bridge,
London
CF Barcelona
(ESP)
6 - 0 London XI
(ENG)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
CF Barcelona won 8-2 on aggregate

aet - after extra time

External links

References

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