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The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, sometimes referred to as the European Fairs Cup,[1] Fairs Cities' Cup,[2] or simply as the 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 Football Association general secretary Stanley Rous, all of whom later became senior officials of football's world governing body, 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 came under the auspices of UEFA and was replaced by the UEFA Cup.[3][4]

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Founded 1955
Abolished 1971
Region Europe
Number of teams 12 (First Round)
64 (Total)
Last champions England Leeds United
(2nd title)
Most successful club(s) Spain Barcelona
(3 titles)

While the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup is recognised as the predecessor to the UEFA Cup, it was not organised by UEFA. Consequently, UEFA does not consider clubs' records in the Fairs Cup to be part of their European record.[3][5] However, FIFA does view the competition as a major honour.[6]

Contents

HistoryEdit

Spanish eraEdit

The first competition was to be held over two seasons to avoid clashes with national leagues fixtures. Because it was also intended to coincide with trade fairs, it ran over into a third year. It commenced in 1955 and finished in 1958. Cities that entered teams included Basel, 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 the city of Barcelona and a London XI. While the latter side consisted of players from 11 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. Barcelona retained the cup, beating Birmingham City 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, 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. 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 Barcelona ended in failure in both competitions. In the Fairs Cup quarter-finals, they lost 7–6 on aggregate to Hibernian, while in the European Cup, they were beaten in the final by Benfica. 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 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 two teams represented each of Edinburgh, Milan, and Barcelona (respectively Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian, Internazionale and A.C. Milan, and 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 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 tournament 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. Ferencvárosi TC of Hungary beat Juventus in another single-game final. The 1966 competition attracted attention for all the wrong reasons. Chelsea were pelted with rubbish at Roma and Leeds United fought a bruising encounter with Valencia CF which ended with three dismissals. Leeds 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 eraEdit

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 Ferencvárosi TC to become the first English club to win the competition. The subsequent victories of Newcastle United and Arsenal 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 CupEdit

In the 1971–72 season the competition was 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. 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 United (9th-also holders) got the places, at the expense of Everton (3rd), Chelsea (5th), Tottenham Hotspur (6th), and West Ham United (8th). The Football League upheld the geographic rule until 1975, when UEFA pressured the League to drop it or face sanctions. Everton that year, having come 4th, would have been excluded from the competition due to Liverpool's 2nd-place finish.[7]

FinalsEdit

Season Home Team Score Away Team Venue
1955–58

Details

  London XI
(ENG)
2–2   Barcelona XI (ESP)
(represented by FC Barcelona)[8]
Stamford Bridge,
London
  Barcelona XI (ESP)
(represented by FC Barcelona)[8]
6–0   London XI
(ENG)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
Barcelona XI won 8–2 on aggregate
1958–60

Details

  Birmingham City
(ENG)
0–0   Barcelona
(ESP)
St Andrew's,
Birmingham
  Barcelona
(ESP)
4–1   Birmingham City
(ENG)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
Barcelona won 4–1 on aggregate
1960–61

Details

  Birmingham City
(ENG)
2–2   Roma
(ITA)
St Andrew's,
Birmingham
  Roma
(ITA)
2–0   Birmingham City
(ENG)
Stadio Olimpico,
Rome
Roma won 4–2 on aggregate
1961–62

Details

  Valencia
(ESP)
6–2   Barcelona
(ESP)
Luis Casanova Stadium,
Valencia
  Barcelona
(ESP)
1–1   Valencia
(ESP)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
Valencia won 7–3 on aggregate
1962–63

Details

  Dinamo Zagreb
(YUG)
1–2   Valencia
(ESP)
Maksimir,
Zagreb
  Valencia
(ESP)
2–0   Dinamo Zagreb
(YUG)
Luis Casanova Stadium,
Valencia
Valencia won 4–1 on aggregate
1963–64

Details

  Real Zaragoza
(ESP)
2–1   Valencia
(ESP)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
Single match played
1964–65

Details

  Juventus
(ITA)
0–1
  Ferencváros
(HUN)
Stadio Comunale,
Turin
Single match played
1965–66

Details

  Barcelona
(ESP)
0–1   Real Zaragoza
(ESP)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
  Real Zaragoza
(ESP)
2–4
aet
  Barcelona
(ESP)
La Romareda,
Zaragoza
Barcelona won 4–3 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
1967–68

Details

  Leeds United
(ENG)
1–0   Ferencváros
(HUN)
Elland Road,
Leeds
  Ferencváros
(HUN)
0–0   Leeds United
(ENG)
Nepstadion,
Budapest
Leeds United won 1–0 on aggregate
1968–69

Details

  Newcastle United
(ENG)
3–0   Újpesti Dózsa
(HUN)
St James' Park,
Newcastle
  Újpesti Dózsa
(HUN)
2–3   Newcastle United
(ENG)
Megyeri úti Stadium,
Budapest
Newcastle United won 6–2 on aggregate
1969–70

Details

  Anderlecht
(BEL)
3–1   Arsenal
(ENG)
Émile Versé Stadium,
Brussels
  Arsenal
(ENG)
3–0   Anderlecht
(BEL)
Highbury,
London
Arsenal won 4–3 on aggregate
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

PerformancesEdit

Performance by clubEdit

Club Winners Runners-up Winning years Runner-up years
  Barcelona 3 1 1958, 1960, 1966 1962
  Valencia 2 1 1962, 1963 1964
  Leeds United 2 1 1968, 1971 1967
  Real Zaragoza 1 1 1964 1966
  Ferencváros 1 1 1965 1968
  Dinamo Zagreb 1 1 1967 1963
  Roma 1 0 1961
  Newcastle United 1 0 1969
  Arsenal 1 0 1970
  Birmingham City 0 2 1960, 1961
  Juventus 0 2 1965, 1971
  London XI 0 1 1958
  Újpest 0 1 1969
  Anderlecht 0 1 1970

Performance by countryEdit

Country Winners Runners-up
  Spain 6 3
  England 4 4
  Hungary 1 2
  Italy 1 2
  Yugoslavia 1 1
  Belgium 1

Trophy play-off matchEdit

On 22 September 1971, a one-off match was played between the first ever winners (FC Barcelona) and the last ever winners (Leeds United) of the Fairs Cup, to decide who would gain permanent possession of the original trophy. Barcelona won this play-off 2–1.

Season Home Team Score Away Team Venue
1971

Trophy
Play-off

  Barcelona
(ESP)
2–1   Leeds United
(ENG)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
Single match play-off

All-time top scorersEdit

This is the list of top scorers in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, from 1955 to 1971 when the competition was taken over by UEFA and rebranded as UEFA Cup.

Rank Player Nation Goals Club
1 Waldo Machado   BRA 31 Valencia
2 Peter Lorimer   SCO 20 Leeds United
3 Flórián Albert   HUN 19 Ferencváros
Ferenc Bene   HUN Újpest
José Antonio Zaldúa   ESP Barcelona
6 Pedro Manfredini   ARG 18 Roma
7 Evaristo de Macedo   BRA 17 Barcelona
8 Vicente Guillot   ESP 16 Valencia
9 Marcelino Martínez   ESP 15 Real Zaragoza
10 Héctor Núñez   URU 14 Valencia
Source: rsssf.com

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "British Cup next season". Glasgow Herald. 19 March 1970. p. 6. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Jacobs, Raymond (30 November 1964). "Fairs Cities' Cup return matches". Glasgow Herald. p. 4. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "UEFA Cup: All-time finals". UEFA. 30 June 2005. Archived from the original on 31 August 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Legend". UEFA. 21 August 2006. Archived from the original on 31 August 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "UEFA Europa League: History: New format provides fresh impetus". UEFA. Archived from the original on 21 March 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Classic Football: Clubs: FC Barcelona". FIFA. Archived from the original on 29 April 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
    "Classic Football: Clubs: AS Roma". FIFA. Archived from the original on 17 August 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Everton to replace Stoke in UEFA Cup". New Sunday Times. Kuala Lumpur: New Straits Times Press. Reuters. 8 June 1975. p. 15. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Head and Tails for the English (Spanish) This articles indicates F. C. Barcelona participated in this first edition of the tournament representing the City of Barcelona, and using, not the colours of the club, but the colours of the city.

External linksEdit