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Morley's Sceptre The Sceptre

Every competition has its own trophy, and the Oosterpark Rankings are no exception. The leaders of the all-time club world rankings will, for the duration of their reign, hold Morley's Sceptre. The French may have Jules Rimet (World Cup) , Henri Delaunay (European Championships), Gabriel Hanot (European Cup) and Pierre de Coubertin (Olympics) as driving forces behind all those sporting competitions we love so dear, but naming a trophy dating back to the origins of football could only be done after the founding father of football as we know it: Ebenezer Cobb Morley (16.08.1831 - 20.11.1924). Morley was responsible for drawing up the first version of the Laws of the Game, which were approved by the English FA on December 8, 1863, and was the FA's first secretary and its second president. Despite dying without any blood relatives, his name now lives on in the only all-encompassing club world rankings from the very beginning of the beautiful game to the present day.

Now that the club world rankings have reached a point where one can safely say it's highly unlikely any new data that affects the very top of the rankings will surface, a physical trophy can be constructed and engraved. Should the author of these rankings ever hit the lottery jackpot, a real platinum-and-gold trophy shall be made, but until that day, the basic material will have to be coated aluminium. ;)

Below you'll find the list of holders of the sceptre since 1872, with the duration of their reign. Upon hitting top of the rankings, a club obtains two pieces of regalia: Morley's Sceptre, which is passed on to any successor, and a bronze orb, which stays with the club. A 10-year consecutive stay at the top earns that club a silver orb, then a golden one after another 10 (and thus 20 years in total). Finally, forty uninterrupted years at the top will earn the club a platinum orb. So far, only Real Madrid have achieved that honour.

Click on the images below to read more about Ebenezer Cobb Morley


Morley's Sceptre features the names and reigns of the seven clubs that topped the all-time club world rankings at the end of any year since 1872. They are engraved on the staff part of the sceptre, which also features the flag of their country. At the end of the staff is a golden football with a number of black panels where every club that held Morley's Sceptre sees their crest placed. At the very top of the Sceptre is a picutre of Morley himself, "overseeing" the entire history of club football.

The current version of the sceptre is a prototype. In the final design, the football at the top will be a classic 18-panel ball, underlining the importance of all of club football's history to this project.


Reign Timespan Nation Orbs obtained
Real Madrid CF I 1958 - present
LVI years




Rangers FC (Glasgow) I 1932 - 1957
XXVI years



Celtic FC (Glasgow) I 1916 - 1931
XVI years


Aston Villa FC (Birmingham) I 1897 - 1915
XIX years


Blackburn Rovers FC I 1891 - 1896
VI years

Preston North End FC I 1890 - 1890
I year

Wanderers FC (London) I 1872 - 1889
XVIII years



(c) Mark de Vries , 1999-2014, All rights reserved. Page last modified: 25.05.2014.
Special thanks to Paulo Freitas for his invaluable insights in, and comments on Latin American football!

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