On 12 April 1913 Arsenal were almost relegated – although not quite. After the results for that day came in it was clear that for Arsenal to remain in the First Division they would have to win their remaining two games (having only won three all season), Chelsea would have to lose both their games, and Arsenal would have to make up a 20 goal difference between the two clubs within the two matches.
Not impossible, but if it happened then the allegations of match-fixing that had been seriously undermining football for the previous three years would now explode.
And in fact, those match-fixing allegations did explode, but not immediately, although as had been the case over the previous few years, they centred not on Arsenal, but on Liverpool and Manchester United.
Only 5,591 turned up to see the game between Arsenal and Derby on this day in 1913. Arsenal went 1-0 in the first half, and Derby scored a second goal early in the second half: it ended 2-1. Arsenal were relegated and it looked like Notts County would go down with them. It was the only time Arsenal have been relegated.
So, yes it is an anniversary for this day, and an important one to record, if a sad one, which is why I’m also noting two happier anniversaries for 12 April.
On 12 April 2014 Arsenal beat Wigan 4-2 on penalties in the FA Cup semi-final. As a result, Arsenal equalled the all-time record for Cup semi-final success – and indeed the club had not finished yet for one year later they beat the record. Mertesacker got the goal in normal time, Arteta, Kallstrom, Giroud and Cazorla scored their penalties.
And just to make sure you are not still full of doom and gloom over that 1913 relegation, on 12 April 2018 Arsenal drew 2-2 away with CSKA Moscow to go through to the semi-final of the Europa League.
Which puts things in a slightly more positive light.
Today on Untold Arsenal: