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Will Birmingham play in a Southern Association owned football league?

February 29, 1944
It is being reported that team owners in the Southern Association, a minor league baseball circuit, will be discussing the idea of starting their own professional football league. The league meetings will be held today and tomorrow in Nashville.

Paul Florence, president of the Birmingham Barons, says he is very interested in having a team here. "I think the sooner we organize a professional football league the better. We will discuss professional football in Nashville and I would like for (National Football League commissioner) Elmer Layden to be present to give us the setup in the National League."

Earl Mann, president of the Atlanta Crackers, agrees with Florence. "We have everything for a professional league. We have the parks and the office personnel. Now is the time for us to discuss professional football and if we are going to sponsor it, be ready to go as soon as possible. I think Sunday games would draw from 15,000 to 20,000. Some plan will have to be worked out with the National League, as in baseball. I wouldn't think of an independent league as they would be stealing our players."

Southern Association president Billy Evans is very interested in the idea of forming the league.

If they decide to proceed, they hope to work with the National Football League, to position their new league as a minor league to the NFL.

Earlier this month, the American Association also announced they would be looking into starting their own professional football league.

The Southern Association had hoped to start their professional football league once World War II ended.

However, they decided to discontinue their plans.
Contact Gene Crowley
Last update: April 09, 2022