Leeds City FC

Leeds City Football Club was the leading professional club in Leeds, England, before the First World War. It was dissolved in 1919 due to financial irregularities, after which Leeds United was established as a replacement.


The club was established in 1904, taking the crest of Leeds as the club badge and adopting blue, yellow and white as the club's colours. They were elected to the Football League in 1905. The original secretary, a role that then also carried the modern responsibilities of manager and coach, was Gilbert Gillies (1904–1908) who was followed by Frank Scott-Walford before in 1912, they appointed Herbert Chapman who guided the club to their highest position in the league (4th in the Second Division).

Leeds City's whole league career was in the Second Division. However, during the First World War the club won several wartime honours under the stewardship of Herbert Chapman. Following the conclusion of the war a scandal ensued and the club was accused of financial irregularities, including breaking the ban on paying players during the war, that led to the club's dissolution in 1919. They were expelled from The Football League eight games into the 1919–20 season. The harsh punishment was handed down mostly because of the behaviour of the club's directors, who refused to co-operate in an FA inquiry, and refused to hand over the club's financial records.

Port Vale took over their remaining fixtures (as well as their results up to that point). Leeds City were the first club to be expelled from the League mid-season, and one of only two to be expelled from the League due to financial irregularities, with Bury expelled in 2019. Ironically, Leeds City's successors, Port Vale, nearly lost their League status for similar reasons in 1968, although they ultimately managed to retain it in an end-of-season vote among the other clubs. On 17 October 1919, an auction was held at the Metropole Hotel in Leeds, where the playing staff was auctioned off along with other assets of the club. The 16 members of the playing squad were bought by nine different clubs for a total of £9,250: