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November 2020
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Arsenal safe: but now the real worry. Will they survive the summer?

With the draw at Tottenham in the penultimate game at season, Woolwich Arsenal were safe for one more season.

The crowd at Tottenham had finally been published at 39,900, although the feeling  was that it was probably much higher.   Either way the figure was a record for Tottenham, and revealed that the near London clubs could get the crowds out for their local matches.

This was quite a development because this match could not have been called a local derby – it was a match between a Middlesex club and a Kent club.

Yet the supporters turned up – just as they had for the Chelsea v Woolwich Arsenal match a month before and the Arsenal v Tottenham game earlier in the season – the first ever league game between the clubs.

The feeling arose that what London needed was not, as Fulham and Tottenham had demanded, fewer clubs, but actually more clubs.  With more clubs in London and the surrounding areas there could be higher crowds more often.

Unfortunately after the weekend’s games it looked very much as if London and its surrounding areas would move from three clubs down to two.  Bolton Wanderers were certainly going down, but it was more than likely that they would be joined by either Tottenham or Chelsea.

But the crowds in the season of 1909/10 showed once and for all that London had a real appetite for football between clubs in its area – even if they were struggling at the foot of the First Division.

For Woolwich Arsenal the season was almost over (just one more game) but also about to begin.  The club was completely exhausted of funds and several attempts had been made to issue new share capital.

But the locals did not want to buy, and the only hope seemed to be Norris.  Yet even here there was a sticking point because Norris was making it completely clear that he would buy Woolwich Arsenal FC only if he could amalgamate the club with Fulham FC.

Woolwich Arsenal had survived the season – but would they now survive the summer.

You can read the whole story of Arsenal in 1910 in Making the Arsenal, the story of Arsenal’s most amazing year.

Contemporary Arsenal news is on Untold Arsenal

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