English FA Cup Finalists 1880 - 1889
The dominance of the southern public school, army and university teams came to an end as the game took root in the industrial midlands and north-west. The 1881 final between Old Carthusians (left) and Old Etonians was the lasted contested by public school teams. With the participation of the working class, both as players and spectators, the game ceased to be the exclusive pursuit of the genteel upper and middle classes and became a mass spectator sport. The new breed of clubs built enclosed grounds, charged admission and were run for profit. Intense competition led to players being poached by one club from another and financial inducements, forbidden by the FA's strict rules on amateurism, became commonplace. In 1885 the FA bowed to the inevitable and recognised professionalism and the balance of power shifted decisively north - no amateur side has appeared in the final since then. In 1888 the Football League was formed and members have enjoyed a monopoly of the FA Cup (with one notable exception) ever since.