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Are Galway United the new Arsenal?

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    Are Galway United the new Arsenal?

    This week, Galway were elevated to the Premier League of the FAI League of Ireland despite finishing third in the first division, ahead of the team Dundalk that finished above them.

    This reminds me (not that I was around at the time) of the election of Arsenal to the first division of the Football League in 1919.

    See below it explains why Tottenham hate Arsenal with a vengance.


    How Arsenal got promoted in 1919

    Sir Henry Norris, chairman of Arsenal, had done the Football League’s bidding since he took over Woolwich Arsenal. He had turned them professional, with the aim of bringing professional football to London (and instantly bringing about the wrath of the London FA from which Woolwich Arsenal were expelled). And then he had moved the team to Highbury, on the doorstep of Tottenham Hotspur, a club that for one reason or another had generated the dislike of both the League and individual clubs.

    Sir Henry had twice asked for payback from the League – once in his application to merge Fulham with Woolwich Arsenal, and once in seeking permission for Woolwich Arsenal to ground share with Fulham. Both requests were denied. These denials annoyed Norris, but added to the level of payback he required.

    The move to Highbury had cost Norris dear – something in the order of £200,000 all told – an astronomic sum in the early 1900s. Then disaster had struck – the ever expanding world of football had come off the rails, along with the rest of civilisation, with the outbreak of war in 1914. The league struggled on to complete its fixtures in April 1915, and then ceased activity for the duration. Norris had to bide his time – but he certainly was not going to forget that the League owed him. Twice.

    Read any history of Arsenal and you will be told that after the war the club was promoted from the second division to the first despite having only finished fifth in the final pre-war league. What you won’t find is any explanation of how Arsenal managed to do it. The details of the discussions are lost in the mists of time” and that “no knows what happened at the meeting” are the phrases you find.

    By the time of the Football League AGM in June 1919 Norris had but one agenda. Arsenal in the first division. The promotion of two clubs from the second division to the first was well established by that time – the only problem being that Arsenal had come fifth in 1915. There was nothing that gave them the right to go up.

    But there was a loophole. With the war over it was decided to enlarge the first division by two clubs. The tradition of moving clubs between the leagues at the moment of expansion was simple – there was no tradition – it happened differently every time, and this was what Norris set out to exploit. The only given standard was that the clubs in the league would vote on how to arrange the expansion – exactly what Norris needed. There were two logical approaches - either the two clubs due to be relegated from the first division should stay up, or the clubs that ended third and fourth in the second division should go up. Or there could be a combination – one of the two relegated clubs staying up and the third team coming up. But no one ever said the League was logical.

    Match fixing.

    The top five in division 2 in 1915 were 1 Derby 2 Preston 3 Barnsley 4. Wolverhampton Wanderers and 5 Arsenal. The two teams due for relegation from the 1st division were Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea – both London teams.

    But there was a subplot – as there invariably is with football. Throughout the years up to 1915 there were ever increasing allegations of match fixing – mo

    I've tried to get the smileys out of the above post but can't, can any of the mods help?


      fixed it for you
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      If you’re fat stay in the ruck - Liam Toland


        Dundalk knew the rules when they signed up, I feel sorry for them but clearly Galway have got their on and off field standards up higher than Dundalk
        It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

        Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win


          Thanks Ruck.


            Really interesting article Piquet, i'd know some of the story but nothing in that detail, cheers



              I think another small part of the reason Spurs hate Arsenal might be that Arsenal always beat them. Winning once every 20 years or so would piss me off to.

              I have to say the end of the season last year when Arsenal beat them to the Champs League position has to be the funniest thing I've seen in soccer in years.

              Besides, how can Spurs have an arguement, they finished bottom of the league.
              \"Golf is a game for c**ts\" Ronnie Drew


                That is disgraceful and very unfair on Dundalk, although what else you one expect from the highly professional FAI....