In 1919 Arsenal were promoted to the first division. At the time it was a totally uncontroversial affair but much later stories began to circulate that this was not the case.
And indeed that was right. There was no controversy at all at the time, only a load of fantasy stories later.
The whole story is told in our series Henry Norris at the Arsenal but here you can see the prime articles from that mega series that take you through the full story of Arsenal’s promotion in 1919.
There is also a shorter version which has appeared on Untold Arsenal here.
- April 1915: New revelations concerning perhaps the most important month in Arsenal’s history
- November / December 1915: the match fixing scandal comes to the fore: Norris is armed
The voting and the comments before and after the election
- The first suggestion that Arsenal could be elected to the 1st division.
- Arsenal in January 1919: rioting in the streets and the question of promotion
- What the media said about the election of Arsenal to the 1st division in 1919
- Arsenal prepare for the vote on who should be promoted to the First Division
- March 1919: The vote to extend the league and what the media said
- Why did the clubs vote for Arsenal rather than Tottenham in March 1919?
The Second Libel
The Third Allegation
The Fourth Allegation
Did Henry Norris really beg Leslie Knighton to stay and offer him the hugest bonus ever? And if so, why were there no new players?
- May/June 1921: Knighton the fantasist. The fourth allegation.
- Why did Arsenal manager Knighton turn down Man City but not buy players? Summer of 1921.
The Fifth Story:
The Sixth Allegation
- March 1922: Desperate times for Arsenal, Norris returns and the transfer limit allegation overturned
The Seventh Allegation
- Arsenal in the Summer 1923: another Knighton allegation but the evidence is again against him.
- Anticipation a plenty but another terrible start to the season: August 1923 – the non-signing of Moffatt.
The Eighth Level – wild fantasies and desperate stories.
The final round of misinformation and unsupported statements
Knighton’s notoriously inaccurate autobiography reports his departure from Arsenal with a whole raft of statements which a review of the historical facts shows to be untrue, ranging from his “building a new team” in 1919, to the notion that he would have got Buchan at a much lower cost. He complains also about not getting a benefit match and claims Sir Henry Norris left him £100 in his will, stating that sacking Knighton was his biggest mistake. There is no evidence for any of this and with so many other statements in this section of his autobiography being plainly wrong, we may wonder about these.