Friday 10th June 1910 – 100 years ago to the day.
By Tony Attwood
Henry Norris who has taken over the club and tried to get share sales any which way he could, did an interview with the local paper – the Kentish Independent – which was published on this day.
In it he announced that he had sold only a small proportion of the shares in the new Woolwich Arsenal, and that because of the failure of local people to take over the ownership of the club, he was forced to take it on himself. Hall and Leavey (the previous owner) were also noted as owners of the new club.
What is interesting about the article is that it is almost identical in style and approach to the various articles that Norris contributed to the Fulham local paper in which he berated the people of Fulham and Chelsea for not supporting their local club enough.
He also said that he was giving the local population one more week – if someone wanted to come forward and rescue the club they could take it off his hands – but only until 17th.
Meanwhile he had started making footballing decisions – confirming the manager (Morrell) in his job for the next season. And by implication that meant cut-backs. Morrell had just kept the club in the First Division in 1909/10, and as we noted, as fast as good players emerged they were sold again. Norris was quite clearly not going to allow this club to eat into his pocket.
In effect by the summer of 1910 Norris now had three loss making clubs on his hands, one in the Southern League, one in Division II, and one in Division I.