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Arsenal’s Historical corruption, un-ethical dealings and unfaithfulness to fan base.

Gringotown2010-04-28 01:11:37 +0000 #1
In 1913 Arsenal had an owner called Henry Norris. He decided to move what was then call Woolwich Arsenal north of the river Thames.

Obviously and rightly so Tottenham objected as another club in the area was not good to have for many reasons. The League ignored Tottenham’s objections saying that there was enough of a population in the area to support both clubs.

Arsenal decided to turn their backs on their supporters in the Woolwich area and continue with the planned move despite local residents in the Highbury area claiming that Arsenal moving to the area would lead to the area being ruined.

A site was found though the area had cricket pitches and tennis courts on it and was owned by the Church of England who opposed the move. Norris ‘sweetened’ the move by waving a £21000 cheque at the church who agreed to a long lease, the deal was signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, it latter transpired that both Norris and the Archbishop belonged to the same ‘social club’.

During the First World War there was a cessation of football but when it resumed the league upped the amount of teams in the first division from 20 to 22 clubs. Chelsea and Tottenham were due to drop a division and both should have been saved but due to a match irregularity Norris persuaded the League that Chelsea should remain up and Tottenham drop a Arsenal, who finished 5th in the 2nd division should go up not because of any outstanding football but because of long service to the league. Wolves were meant to go up instead and had a longer service. The directors received a house in Wimbledon through Norris’s estate agency business.

In 1929 Norris was banned from football for financial misdemeanours.


TonyAttwood2010-04-28 01:15:01 +0000 #2
There's a number of errors within the piece about Woolwich Arsenal and Norris which really should be corrected.

First, the issue of Tottenham objecting to Woolwich Arsenal moving. The issue of the location of club grounds had been one that had come up a number of times prior to Woolwich Arsenal moving, and the FA and the League had both confirmed time and again that they had no power to control where a club played - only the condition of the ground.

The most notorious case was the arrival of Chelsea in 1905. They set up a ground very close to Fulham, and Fulham objected. This case was notorious because before 1905 there was no Chelsea. They was no club, no players, no administration, nothing. Just a plot of land on which a ground could be built - and the league said, "fine, set up a ground, and we'll put you in the league." A similar case arose the following year with Bradford City.

So Tottenham were whistling in the wind with their objection.

Then there is the "Arsenal decided to turn their backs on their supporters" issue. Norris bought Woolwich Arsenal in 1910 and signed a deal that said that the club would stay in Woolwich for at least 2 seasons - which they did.

But the crowds went down to around 5,000, not least because the government closed the torpedo factory at Woolwich and so the population declined. Norris actually stayed one more year in Plumstead than the contract said, before saying that he could not support the loss making club (which had gone into liquidation in 1910) any more unless it moved.

In terms of Norris having ‘sweetened’ the move by waving a £21000 cheque at the church - Norris had, it is true, had many dealings with the Church, dating back to the issue with the BP oil refinery situation in Fulham and his work on the Bishop's Palace (see the book Making the Arsenal for full details - www.woolwicharsenal.co.uk: www.woolwicharsenal.co.uk - also available on Amazon.co.uk)

As for the 1919 situation, this description leaves out the whole issue of match fixing in the previous season, and the demand of some clubs that those involved in match fixing (Liverpool and Man U particularly) should be expelled. This is really just a tiny bit of a most complex story - it has been covered on the Woolwich Arsenal blog www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk: www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk

I am not saying Norris was a nice guy, but this is a slash and burn report that just prints facts and non-facts to suit a case that is being made.
Gringotown2010-04-28 01:55:07 +0000 #3
Thankyou for your additional information and amendments.

I wrote the above using bits of folklore from the internet and other sources and a book I am currently reading as the main source material, it was not a direct copy though it was written partly with ‘tongue firmly in cheek’ and since it was ‘ancient’ history I would not offend anyone besides any Arsenal historian can see right through it. I was going to write one about Spurs but as we all know anything connected with my beloved team is ‘whiter than white’.

When football turned professional and before this time it was inevitable that individuals would seek to capitalise and obviously with the league administration set-up as was it was probably very easy to manipulate, not the case at all today!

I take it you are Tony Attwood the writer of sci-fi and various other books and articles. I am deeply honoured that you took time to write here and I appreciate that you would obviously wish the record to be set straight being an educated Gooner (naff I know but cannot think of anything original!)

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