AISA (Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association) Statement on the
proposed European Super League
AISA strongly condemns the decision to create a European Super League and is dismayed and
disgusted that Arsenal FC is part of the cabal of English clubs leading this breakaway. The
proposals are unwanted by supporters, go against long-standing traditions of sporting merit, are
unsound commercially and, crucially, have not been the subject of supporter consultation. This
makes a mockery of Arsenal’s repeated commitment to structured dialogue.
We are Arsenal supporters and football fans. We want success for our club. We want future
generations to continue to have the ability to support a club that they can be proud of, a club that
values every fan, a club that treasures its past and looks forward to its future.
Arsenal FC has a long and proud history as a club founded on the principles of competition and this
move undermines that. It takes no account of the wishes of Arsenal fans or the wider support of the
football pyramid. AISA is not against change, indeed we recognise that Arsenal FC has
pioneered many initiatives in football history, but this is change for the wrong reasons and at the
The clubs involved in the proposed ESL appear to have no interest in the hopes and dreams of
ordinary football fans and only in the amount of wealth they can realise from the ‘closed shop’ that
this will create. AISA campaigns on behalf of Arsenal fans and will never support any move that
takes our club away from those fans.
We would like to see clear evidence of how this move benefits Arsenal FC, its supporters, and the
supporters of all football clubs in the UK and Europe because we can see none. We call on Arsenal
and the other English and European clubs to reconsider their actions and return to the football
family, at home and abroad.
“a long and proud history as a club founded on the principles of competition”
Of course ignoring all the glad-handing and bribes from Henry Norris after the Great War.
I fear David Clancy that you have been reading Tottenham Hotspur blogs instead of paying attention to Arsenal. The story of Norris bribing anyone is a complete concoction.
The detailed and total history of Henry Norris at the Arsenal from 1910 to 1927, complete with references and sources is published here : https://blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/henry-norris-at-the-arsenal
Now it does run to over 200,000 words so it might take you a little time but it is utterly comprehensive.
It does take in the whole background to match fixing – and as you will see it was Norris (also a singular war hero) who led the attempts to get the match fixing stopped.
But if you don’t have the time to read all of that you might care to have a look at the shortened history of 1919, the time when Arsenal were promoted, which again I suspect you are referring to in your post.
How does this align with the principles of competition? Finish 5th, 4 points behind the third team, get promoted!
Pos Team Pld HW HD HL HGF HGA AW AD AL AGF AGA GAv Pts Promotion or relegation
1 Derby County 38 14 3 2 40 11 9 4 6 31 22 2.152 53 Division Champions, Promoted[a]
2 Preston North End 38 14 4 1 41 16 6 6 7 20 26 1.452 50 Promoted[a]
3 Barnsley 38 16 2 1 31 10 6 1 12 20 41 1.000 47
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 12 4 3 47 13 7 3 9 30 39 1.481 45
5 Arsenal[b] 38 15 1 3 52 13 4 4 11 17 28 1.683 43[c] Promoted[a]
“However, even more scandal followed Sir Henry, as he was found guilty of giving Charlie Buchan back handers to join Arsenal – it was discovered that he had used Arsenal money to pay his chauffer and, finally, that he pocketed the £125 from the sale of the team bus!!!!”
So there is a bribe – an under the counter payment. And found guilty of that.
From a pretty independent source. Doesn’t seem like Norris was too concerned about the principles of competition.
“At the end of the war it was decided to increase the First Division from 20 to 22 clubs. One solution to the problem was to allow the relegated clubs in the 1914-15 season, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, to remain in the First Division. However, Henry Norris disputed this idea. He argued that a great deal of match-fixing had gone on in the 1914-15 season and that league positions should be disregarded. The reason for this was that Arsenal had finished in 5th place in the Second Division in the 1914-15 season and therefore had no grounds for being elected to the First Division.
It was decided to give Chelsea one of the vacant places in the First Division. However, Norris persuaded the league chairman to vote on the other club to join them. Arsenal won the ballot with 18 votes. Spurs only got 8 whereas Barnsley, who finished 3rd in the Second Division in the 1914-15 season, received 5 votes. Many people were of the opinion that Norris had bribed his fellow chairmen in order to win the election.”
Spartacus does not go back to original sources and generally quotes few if any sources, but instead takes and re-writes other people’s recent commentaries. The Arsenal story started being changed in 1946 when Leslie Knighton published his autobiography. He had been manager from 1919 to 1925, and invented a vast array of tales about Norris, which have been taken to be true ever since, but for which there was no evidence.
If you want to read the actual story of the day look at the weekly Athletic magazine and the local and national newspapers the following days after the election. Not one of them – not even the local Tottenham papers make any negative comment about the voting or arrangements, even though as a result they were relegated.
You can find many commentaries like Spartacus, but why believe them when there is a source that goes into much, much more detail, includes the match fixing issues, and is based on the sources.
If you are going to believe one source over another there has to be a reason and “pretty independent source” hardly matches that.
Try https://blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/1919-affair and take up the challenge and find some facts that we quote which you can disprove.