Birmingham City were founded as Small Heath Alliance in 1875, and from 1877 played their home games at Muntz Street. The club turned professional in 1885,and three years later became the first football club to become a limited company with a board of directors, under the name of Small Heath F.C. Ltd. From the 1889-1890 season they played in the Football Alliance,  which ran alongside the Football League. In 1892, Small Heath, along with the other Alliance teams, were invited to join the newly formed Second Division of the Football League. They finished as champions, but failed to win promotion through the test match system. The following season they achieved promotion to the First Division after a second place finish and test match victory over Darwen. 

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