13 June: The deadline day for Arsenal

The deadline for Arsenal

by Tony Attwood

Day by Day: the videos – An Arsenal video for (almost) every day of the year in order. 

Following Arsenal’s financial collapse in the 1909/10 season, the Football League made it clear they wanted Woolwich Arsenal’s finances sorted out by the date of its AGM, 13 June 1910, which meant the new investors needed to be in place by then.

Thus the club’s board now sent out a letter to all the people who had applied for shares in the first attempt to refinance the club, stating that anyone who applied for five or more shares and who bought now, would have the guarantee that not only would Woolwich Arsenal stay in Plumstead for a year, if the club then moved William Hall and Henry Norris would then buy back the shares at face value (£1 each), if so required.

Thereafter (although it is difficult to confirm the exact date) Henry Norris extended the time to which he guaranteed to keep Arsenal at Plumstead from one year (as agreed with the League Management Committee) to two years.

Unfortunately, neither supporters nor local businesses nor anyone else stepped up en masse to support the club, and with Norris and Hall now in charge, the new share register was drawn up.   This showed Hall and Norris having 240 shares each along with some other shareholders holding significant but smaller numbers.

Although there were numerous financial matters to handle, Henry Norris also started to consider the playing side of the club he had just taken over, and on 8 June he had a meeting with Arsenal’s manager George Morrell to say that his job was safe despite the club missing relegation by just one place and two points in the season just finished.

This was a pivotal moment.  Had Henry Norris not stepped up at this point and put his own money forward, with no one else waiting in the wings the club would certainly have folded.  The club owed vast amounts of money, and without a financial saviour, it would have closed at the end of that day.

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.

100 Years: 100 Years in the First Division

Arsenal today: Untold Arsenal 

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