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 →

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 →

by Andy Kelly, Phil Wall and Mark Andrews

Ownership of Arsenal football club is an ongoing story, as disquiet has grown among fans about the direction of the club under Stan Kroenke. Is Kroenke a good or bad owner? Would Alisher Usmanov be better? How did the two of them come to own 97% of Arsenal between them? How did they get involved and where did they get their shares from? We’ll try and explain.

To produce the definitive story we asked Phil Wall if he would collaborate with us. We can highly recommend Phil’s blog which has a number of articles about Kroenke, Usmanov and Arsenal ownership.

kroenke

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…on this day in 1910

Sorry to disappoint you “Kroenke Out” fans but this happened 106 years ago.

The 1909-10 season was something of a watershed for Woolwich Arsenal FC. Having hit the highs of promotion to the First Division in 1904 and FA Cup semi-finals in 1906 and 1907, things turned decidedly sour for the Reds over the next three years. The main problem was that they were no longer the only club in London and the south in the top tier of English football. Chelsea had gained promotion in 1907, whilst Middlesex’s Tottenham followed suit two years later.

Woolwich Arsenal 1904 - The Good Times

Woolwich Arsenal 1904 – The Good Times

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On 1 February 1958, Arsenal hosted reigning league champions Manchester United at Highbury. A massive crowd of 63,578 turned up to see the Busby Babes. They saw what has been described as “the greatest game ever seen” by those who were there. The thrilling game finished 5-4 in favour of the visitors. However, it would be the last time this talented young team were seen in England.

Duncan Edwards (the only time you'll see a non-Arsenal player in the preview)

Duncan Edwards (the only time you’ll see a non-Arsenal player in the preview)

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Celebrating the wrong day for nearly 60 years

If you’re an Arsenal fan that has been to a game any time in the last 80 odd years, the chances are you will have used or walked past Arsenal underground station. And if you’re an Arsenal fan with an interest in the club’s history you will, no doubt, know that it was originally called Gillespie Road and renamed to Arsenal (Highbury Hill) on 5 November 1932. It was an idea of Herbert Chapman, Arsenal’s legendary manager, to raise the profile of the club.

Arsenal_station_tiling

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…you’ve probably been taken for a ride.

“Compton and Smith played for England for the first time against Wales at Sunderland, Compton at thirty-eight becoming the oldest man to win his first cap for England.”

Bernard Joy – “Forward, Arsenal!”

“Two Arsenal players, Peter Connolly and Bobby Buist, played so well in that game [1891 FA Cup v Derby County] that John Goodall, the Derby captain and acting secretary-manager, offered them contracts.”

Phil Soar and Martin Tyler – “The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal”

Two statements from two esteemed tomes that have become ingrained in Arsenal’s history, written by three respected names in the game, printed in in black ink on white paper for all eternity. The only problem is that both statements have recently been proven to be wrong. Read More →