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On this day in 2014: the biggest one day clear out of players in the club’s history

26 June 2014 was the day of what is called the biggest clear out of players from Arsenal of all time, as the club confirmed that it was coming to the end of the austerity period caused by the repayment of the debts on the new stadium.

But although money was then available for new, more expensive players, the period did not lead to significant success.  At first it seemed that success was coming as Arsenal, having won the cup that year went on to win it twice more in the next three seasons, to make the club the most successful FA Cup club, and its manager, the most successful FA Cup manager, of all time.

And the league positions at first looked promising too: from 4th in 2014 in the following two seasons Arsenal ended up third and then second.  But with club sold to Kroenke it became clear that no investment was going to be forthcoming to enable Arsenal to keep up with the spending of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, and in 2017 Arsenal finished 5th, and this was followed by a 6th and then 5th placed finish.

Here are the anniversaries:

26 June 1875: Ly Burrows born in Northumberland.  He played in Glasgow and Sheffield, before playing for Woolwich Polytechnic while a student there and was given his chance with Arsenal while still only 16 in January 1892.

26 June 1939: Wilf Wash sold to Derby.  He had spent two years at Margate before making his three league appearances as a forward, but was not considered up to the standard required and was transferred shortly before the outbreak of war.

26 June 1970: Ex-Arsenal captain Terry Neill joined Hull as player manager.  He was at the 2014 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Hull as a man with connections with both sides and gave an unbelievably lopsided half-time interview pitchside which he hopefully subsequently regretted.

26 June 1972: Frank Stapleton signed from school as an apprentice (having tried his hand first with Man U) and played his first game in 1975 against Leicester in a 1-1 home draw.  It was Mee’s last season and Arsenal finished 17th in the league.

26 June 1987: Samir Nasri born in Marseille and joined Olympique de Marseille aged nine, spending seven years in the youth academy at La Commanderie.  He was last heard of in 2019 when he signed for West Ham.

26 June 1998: Gavin McGowan sold to Luton Town, having played seven times.  His league career was cut short by injury and he moved on to play non-league football before retiring aged 25 to become a sports teacher.

26 June 1998: David Seaman and Tony Adams played for England in the World Cup v Colombia.  England won 2-0 with goals from Anderton and Beckham.

26 June 2012: Olivier Giroud joined Arsenal from Montpellier for about £9.6m. He had scored 30 goals in 61 games for Tours and then 33 goals in 73 games for Montpellier.   (Giroud scores his first goal).  He went on to make 180 appearances for Arsenal before moving to Chelsea in 2018.

26 June 2014: With additional funds pouring into the club Arsenal announced its biggest clear outs of all time with 11 players leaving the club on 30 June as their contracts expired.  Denilson, Arshavin and Sanchez Watt were among those leaving. Sagna spoke on TalkSport claiming he was not leaving Arsenal for the money.

Publications

“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” and “Making the Arsenal” are now available as printed books, and on Kindle.    Please see here for more details.

Elsewhere on the site…

Henry Norris at the Arsenal:  There is a full index to the series here.

Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series on the decade ever

Arsenal in the 1970s: Every match and every intrigue reviewed in detail.

A full index of our series can be found on the home page.

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