However Arsenal’s directors did meet to consider what to do about the finances of the game, once the Football Association had accepted Arsene Wenger’s offer that the tie should be played again, even though Arsenal had broken no FA rule, although S Bruce had.
The Arsenal announcement said, “It was decided that any concessions should go to the supporters. We will now be selling tickets at half the normal prices for the replayed match.”
Arsene Wenger also said that he was certain Kanu did not deliberately break the rules of football ethics – a claim that was given credence through it being Kanu’s first match.
The FA finding themselves now outside events that they were supposed to control had no option but to agree with Mr Wenger’s plan. But they then came up with a twist of their own.
The original match would not count in terms of records of matches won and lost, nor would the result stand, of course.
But the game would count in terms of disciplinary records – a bizarre situation. It had been a rough and tumble affair, with five Sheffield United players (Shaun Derry, David Holdsworth, Ian Hamilton, Graham Stuart and Marcelo) being given yellows, with any of them likely to be facing a red as United got more and more worked up – and indeed with all of them facing reds for not playing on when ordered by the ref.
Arsenal got no yellows, but Emmanuel Petit missed that game as one of his three match suspension games, and that counted as one of the three. Having served his time he was ready for the re-match if selected.
Here’s Arsenal’s progress in the cup that season
|4 Jan 1999
|Preston NE (a)
|24 Jan 1999
|13 Feb 1999
|Sheffield U (h)
|Round 5 replay
|23 Feb 1999
|Sheffield U (h)
|6 March 1999
|Derby C (h)
|11 April 1999
|Semi final replay
|14 April 1999
The Anniversary Files now contain over 2500 entries
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal