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CHINESE SOCCER TEAM

■ ♦ Not Commercialised STATEMENT BY MR. MILLARD. Mr. H. A. Millard writes to the Editor: — I respectfully request space through your valuable journal to answer a statement made by Mr. Bert Salmon, secretary of the N.Z.F.A., m his 'conversation with your representative concerning the above, published m the current issue of your paper. I wish it to be clearly understood that I am not levelling any charge against Mr. Salmon or his association. I desire to place before the public the facts, as they affect myself. Mr. Salmon states that reports had reached China that the matches played by the Chinese team m Australia were commerqii^lised by certain individuals. Tlil&Jis, entirely wrong. The Australian are quite capable of defending any such charge against themselves officially, and have done so. As I am not a Soccer official it is left to myself to refute any statement mmmmmmmmmmmmmwmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm^tmmmmmmmmmmmmm

, ?: : : ;, : : : , : , : ,:y., : , ■„,■■,,,■ ; ) | which might lead to the belief that I reaped a monetary harvest from the tour. I know of no better way to defend my sporting reputation m New Zealand than to make a simple statement of facts and request you- to publish them through - your widelyread journal. •., .- .■■ • y I was m China -for nine months organising the tour. All the tinie 1 was under the belief that' my colleagues m New Zealand were m touch with the N.Z. Soccer Association. I have learned since my return to New Zealand 'that the N.Z. Association were invited to take over the tour, and refused. HOW AUSTRALIANS FINANCED. Howover, the Australian Association* took the whole responsibility of the tour. It was left to Jliem to transact all the business with me by cable. They forwarded me the funds necessary to make the tour possible, although the money for the spade work of the s tour was found by sporting gentlemen m New Zealand, who have not received any return owing to mismanagement by individuals m New Zealand. ' The method adopted by the Australian Associations In- forming a limited liability company of £1600 to control the tour was a sound one. The shareholders m the company included the New South Wales Soccer Association, Sydney Metropolitan Soccer Association, Queensland Soccer Association, Granville Soccer Association, and Protestant Churches Soccer Association. The private investors m the company were Messrs S. Stack, official of the N.S.W. Soccer Association; S. Storey, secretary N.S.W.F.A.; F. West and C. P. Dixon, of tho Metropolitan Association. These gentlemen contributed the amount necessary to make up the required- capital. So far as the Australian Association is concerned, it has been stated officially, through tho Press m Australia that 83 per cent, of the profits have reverted to the associations. As the whole thing was a pioneer movement, a good deal of adverse criticism was levelled against it as a consequence. I alone bore the whole brunt of tbe organising In China, and all the attendant difficulties connected with It, which were many. I was actuated more from a national motivo than a sporting one m my desire to accomplish my objective. Consequently I resent any statement which may be misinterpreted to my detriment. I wish to clearly state that, from a financial viewpoint, 1 am at a decided loss. The total amount I received from tho tour was £150 less than my salary m my civil occupation during the thirteen months I was engaged m the organising and managing of the tour. I would be pleased to allow your rep., or a rep. of the N.Z.F.A.. to peruse my files and books for proof of this statement. PERSONAL LOSS OVER £150. On thirteen months' work on behalf of the Soccer code I am al a loss of over £150, and 1 am a family man. I managed the team throughout tho tour of every State m the Commonwealth except Western Australia. I received no salary whatever for such duties, and the tour extended over a period of 17 weeks, during which time 23 games were played. I obtained — as I thought — very reasonable terms for tho team to tour New Zealand, and was sorely disappointed when the tour did not eventuate. My report to Dr. Gray m Shanghai is now on its way. and any misunderstandings will be cleared away. 1 have dealt very fully with both the sporting and national advantages which have been derived from the tour. This report will he presented to the Far Eastern Olympic Committee, comprising delegates from China, Japan and Philllpine Islands; also to thc Governments and Chambers ot Commerce of each country. As n trade advertisement between the Antipodes and the East. I claim this visit to be the best ln tho history of either group of countries. As proof that it is desirable to cultivate the trade of the East, one of our leading public men. Mr. T. M. Wiirord. Jh at present engaged In a lively campaign to gain that end.

Of the seventeen men m the team, the whole had received or were receiving an English commercial course m the Universities; seven were present students; seven were merchants, one was a contractor, and two were accountants m banks. While m Australia I took every opportunity of allowing them to see the commercial side, m preference to the sporting and social side. I encouraged and requested each to keep a diary. All the woollen mills and steel mills m each State were visited, as well as shearing sheds and various industries. I consider that each member was an ambassador from his country to our country. They were without exception a very superior and desirable type, and I am proud to state that for the whole period of the tour there was never one complaint of any description levelled against them. In each State We were given a Parliamentary reception, and I hold a written testimony of their general demeanor from the proprietor- of each hotel we resided m. I mention these facts to refute the statement that the game profited very little 'by the tour. . ' '. : 1 . I

It' reflects to the credit of the Soccer code throughout the world that they were the first to be courageous enough to bring the East and the West together on the field of sport. The eyes of the whole sporting world was on the result of the experiment, and it has given the Soccer cbde the greatest "advertisement it has yet received. Also, it has made it possible for thc N.Z.F.A. .to arrange another visit. As proof of the fillip the game has received m Australia I quote tho following: Prior to the team's arrival on August 6 the previous biggest gate for Soccer was last year, when the N.Z. and Australian game drew a crowd of 13,000. ' Four days after arrival, this team drew a gate of 43,000, and without an exception, at each place the team played, all previous rocords wero broken. Approximately 120,000 people witnessed the team m action, nmt we played m places where no previous interstate matches had been played, thereby breaking new ground and advertising the code. GLAD TO ASSIST N.Z.F.A. Now, sir, I have no desire to create any bad feeling with the N.Z.F.A. On the contrary, I will be pleased to give them all the. assistance possible to make the proposed tour of the Chinese team as successful as possible. I only trust that as wise a choice is made m China as I made. I do not believe m sport monopoly. The public should bo the best judge of what they like best. 1 would like to see the proposed tour eventuate. I have an abundance of photographs, records, literature, etc., which would serve as good publicity m the coming tour, and I would be pleased to lend the same to tho N.Z.F.A. to assist them m their coming venture. Tho following will be of Interest to your readers: A point of view of honor, with the team I organised, was thut they would not kick a penalty goal. They wero universally commended for this action. In spite of this handicap their record stands at: Games lost 9, games won 8, games drawn C; a total of 23 games, ln which the Chinese kicked S more goals than wero kicked against them. A very creditable-- record m the face of having played the first 10 games without a win. Sir, should you grant me the space required to publish this, It will bo but consistent with your journal's reputation for fair play to all, for which I thank you. I trust Mr. Salmon or the N.Z.F.A. will not misinterpret this letter as an attack. It is a simple statement of facts m my own defence.

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CHINESE SOCCER TEAM NZ Truth, 15 March 1924

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