Except it’s a load of old cobblers

One of the stories about Arsenal that Tottenham fans like dredge up due to their seemingly perpetual inferiority complex is that the Middlesex club were relegated in 1928 because Arsenal deliberately lost games to ensure this happened.

Even worse is that it gets an airing in some histories written about Arsenal, even the club’s official history!

So, is it true? Of course not.

mythbusters

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But not when most people think

Sir Henry Norris. Depending on which team you support, Sir Henry was either Arsenal’s saviour or the scourge of Tottenham. Even to some Arsenal fans he is thought of as a villain. Many of the negative stories about Sir Henry have been shown to have been exaggerated or even fabricated. However, one fact that cannot be ignored is that he was banned from the game for life by the Football Association for a number of financial indiscretions.

Sir Henry Norris

As we at The Arsenal History have discovered over the last few years, there is a major discrepancy in the facts of this story. Read More →

The “Arsenal: We Won the League…” series is centred on the Thirties domination of football by Arsenal, in which we will publish  the details around each game in which the Five titles were gained.

First up is the first win:

Arsenal League Champions 1930-31

In the 1930’s Arsenal won the League five times: 1930-31, 1932-33, 1933-34, 1934-35 and 1937-38.

Two of these triumphs were gained at home. This one, the first, was against Liverpool

1931-32 Team photo

Team photo taken just prior to the next season with League Championship Trophy – Arsenal Museum Archive

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…in 1925

Leslie Knighton (Arsenal manager 1919-1925), in what turned out to be his final season at Arsenal, tried to give his charges an extra pep in the shape of doped pills for the FA Cup tie against West Ham United in January 1925.

He admitted to this action 23 years later in his entertaining autobiography “Behind the Scenes in Big Football”, and of interest to us is the chapter “I Dope Arsenal For A Cup Tie” as it refers to these series of matches against the East Londoners.

SAM_4466

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…On this day in 1937

“Butcher” Boulton downed most of the Arsenal defence 

Frank Boulton puts paid to Herbie Roberts’ season and Arsenal’s slim title challenge in just three punches during a League game against West Brom.

F Boulton Arsenal Goalkeeper 1936-1938

Frank Boulton: The Arsenal goalkeeper 1936-1938

In an unprecedented series of events he managed to not only hospitalise Roberts, but knock out Hapgood and hit Crayston.

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Ernest Clarke Williamson 1919-1923

After Andy was asked by the Official Arsenal Magazine to argue for the greatest manager – Herbert Chapman – I was requested to give my thoughts on the Greatest Arsenal Goalkeeper in the April 2016 issue.

Now, a definition of “greatest” doesn’t necessarily refer to the best player, it can also mean someone who has done great things. Which was why I chose our first goalkeeper after World War 1 owing to his work with servicemen blinded during the war.

The predictable path would have been to pick a modern goalkeeper like Seaman, Wilson, Rimmer, Lukic or Jennings but that has been covered many times over in official and unofficial publications and websites.

EC Williamson

Ernie Williamson saves from a blind player’s spot kick. Photo courtesy of the Blind Veterans UK – Rob Baker.

EC Williamson showed the human side of the Arsenal in a period where the country was in recovery from a great upheaval and one of effective torpor for the club.

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by Andy Kelly, Phil Wall and Mark Andrews

Part two of this look at Arsenal ownership examines the time since Stan Kroenke came on the scene.

For part one see here.

Again this is jointly written with Phil Wall whose excellent blog can be viewed here.

2007

It’s well-known that Stan Kroenke was introduced to Arsenal by David Dein, whose thinking was that Kroenke’s money could help Arsenal compete with the newly rich Chelsea, who were benefitting from Roman Abramovich’s billions.  It is understood that Dein brokered the deal between Granada and Kroenke, with the view that Kroenke could take over the club and make cash available to cover Arsenal through the potentially tricky period between building the new stadium and finishing the redevelopment of Highbury and other sites linked to the property deals. Bear in mind that this was still before the financial crisis, and the club expected to easily make eight-figure profits from the property development. Kroenke bought Granada Media’s 6,216 shares (9.99%) and by the end of May 2007 he held 7,584 (12.2%). He’d bought 659 of these from Danny Fiszman, who’d decided to round his holding down to exactly 15,000 shares. It’s believed that Fiszman didn’t realise at the time he was selling to Kroenke and was not pleased about it.

At this stage Kroenke was still not welcomed by the rest of the Arsenal Board, who considered Dein had gone behind their backs. This was one reason for a falling-out between old friends Dein and Fiszman. As a result Dein was dismissed from the Board of directors in April 2007. Read More →