Featured Matches
Previous
Aston Villa
Hull City
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Leicester City
Arsenal
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AC Milan
Lazio
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Villarreal
Barcelona
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Real Madrid
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aston Villa
Hull City
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Leicester City
Arsenal
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Villarreal
Barcelona
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo La Coruña
Rayo Vallecano
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Real Madrid
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Elche
Granada
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mainz
Hannover 96
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SC Freiburg
Borussia Monchengladbach
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AC Milan
Lazio
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atalanta
Hellas Verona
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cesena
Parma
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Genoa
Napoli
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Palermo
Sampdoria
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sassuolo
Cagliari
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Torino
Internazionale
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Udinese
Empoli
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bordeaux
Bastia
12:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Metz
Lyon
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Paris Saint-Germain
St Etienne
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Bristol City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dundee
Celtic
11:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Llagostera
Leganes
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Betis
Numancia
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Gijon
Ponferradina
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Alavés
Recreativo Huelva
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mallorca
Las Palmas
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SV Sandhausen
FC Ingolstadt 04
11:30 AM GMT
Game Details
TSV 1860 Munich
SV Darmstadt 98
11:30 AM GMT
Game Details
TSV Eintracht Braunschweig
VfL Bochum
11:30 AM GMT
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
Vitesse Arnhem
10:30 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Groningen
Ajax Amsterdam
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
NAC Breda
PEC Zwolle
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Twente Enschede
Feyenoord Rotterdam
2:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Roda JC Kerkrade
MVV Maastricht
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gil Vicente
Maritimo
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Penafiel
Paços de Ferreira
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
CD Nacional de Madeira
Arouca
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Porto
Moreirense
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Benfica
Sporting Lisbon
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
CSKA Moscow
Rostov
9:30 AM GMT
Game Details
FK Rubin Kazan
FC Ufa
12:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lokomotiv Moscow
Zenit St Petersburg
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Krasnodar
Dinamo Moscow
4:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Erciyesspor
Trabzonspor
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sivasspor
Gaziantepspor
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Balikesirspor
Akhisar Belediye
Postp
Game Details
Caykur Rizespor
Genclerbirligi
Postp
Game Details
Fenerbahce
Karabukspor
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Asteras Tripoli
Levadiakos
4:15 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Xanthi
Kerkyra
4:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Niki Volos
Atromitos
4:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Platanias
PAOK Salonika
4:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Panathinaikos
Panionios
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Club Brugge
Anderlecht
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
KSC Lokeren
Standard Liege
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Royal Charleroi SC
KV Mechelen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rapid Vienna
SV Grodig
2:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Silkeborg IF
AaB
11:00 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Midtjylland
Esbjerg
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Nordsjaelland
Brøndby
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Odense BK
FC Copenhagen
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
IFK
Kalmar FF
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
IFK Norrkoping
AIK
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Djurgarden
Malmo FF
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Elfsborg
Falkenbergs FF
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Helsingborg
Halmstad
Postp
Game Details
Orebro SK
Brommapojkarna
Postp
Game Details
Lillestrom
Haugesund
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
IK Start
Sogndal
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stabaek
Sandnes Ulf
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Viking FK
Rosenborg
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SK Brann
Molde
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Grasshoppers
FC Vaduz
11:45 AM GMT
Game Details
St Gallen
FC Zürich
11:45 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Basel
Young Boys
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
DC United
New York Red Bulls
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chivas USA
Los Angeles Galaxy
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
Veracruz
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Guadalajara
Cruz Azul
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Edmonton
Minnesota United FC
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Belgrano de Córdoba
Atletico Rafaela
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Independiente
Racing Club
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Atletico Rafaela
Gimnasia La Plata
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Boca Juniors
Vélez Sarsfield
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
San Lorenzo
River Plate
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Botafogo
Santos FC
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Corinthians
Fluminense FC
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Coritiba FBC
Atlético MG
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Figueirense FC
São Paulo
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport
Criciúma
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
EC Vitória
Flamengo
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Goiás EC
Atletico Paranaense
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gremio
Bahia
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Universidad Católica
O'Higgins
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Universidad de Concepción
Unión La Calera
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cobresal
Cobreloa
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Municipal Iquique
Barnechea
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Audax Italiano
Ñublense
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atenas
Racing (U)
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rampla Juniors
River Plate
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rentistas
Sud América
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Wanderers
Danubio F.C.
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cerro
Juventud
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Peñarol
Tacuarembó FC
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Envigado
Deportivo Pasto
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Cali
Atlético Junior
8:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportes Tolima
Once Caldas
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Independiente Medellín
Aguilas Doradas
10:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Millonarios
Independiente Santa Fe
12:45 AM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Cristal
Los Caimanes
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport Huancayo
UTC
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
León de Huánuco
Inti Gas Deportes
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Olimpia
Cerro Porteño
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sportivo Luqueño
General Díaz
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rubio Ñú
Deportivo Capiatá
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Guaraní
Libertad
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
El Nacional
Mushuc Runa
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
U. Católica
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Club Deportivo Cuenca
Deportivo Quito
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Olmedo
Liga de Loja
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Barcelona
LDU Quito
9:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Emelec
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Venezuela
Deportivo Anzoategui
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Petare
Carabobo
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Estudiantes de Mérida
Deportivo Lara
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Llaneros
Tucanes
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Mineros
Caracas F.C.
Postp
Game Details
Portuguesa
Zulia
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Club Petrolero de Yacuiba
Nacional Potosí
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport Boys Warnes
Wilstermann
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Potosí
San José
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Universitario de Sucre
Bolívar
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Oriente Petrolero
Blooming
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mamelodi Sundowns
Amazulu
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Silver Stars
Bloem Celtic
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cartagines
Perez Zeledon
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Belen
Carmelita
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Universidad De Costa Rica
Limon
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Club Sport Uruguay
Saprissa
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Malacateco
Xelaju
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Suchitepequez
Petapa
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Coatepeque
Universidad de San Carlos
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Penarol
Municipal
Postp
Game Details
C.D.Real Sociedad
Vida
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
CD Motagua
Olimpia
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Marathon
Real Espana
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Seattle Reign FC
FC Kansas City
ESPN2 7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
Manchester CityManchester City
Stoke CityStoke City
0
1
FT
Game Details
Newcastle UnitedNewcastle United
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
3
3
FT
Game Details
Nov 11, 2010

Audacious Arsenal supplant Spurs

On Saturday, Arsenal and Tottenham meet at Emirates Stadium in the latest instalment of one of English football's fiercest rivalries. But what lies at the root of this bitter North London dispute? The answer can be found in a sequence of events in the 1910s, and in a shadowy, legendary figure found deep in Arsenal's history.

As totemic figures in the history of Arsenal Football Club go, the enigmatic and mysterious Sir Henry Norris is surely hugely underappreciated. Before Arsene Wenger constructed his invincible team, before Michael Thomas scored that goal at Anfield in 1989, before Bertie Mee's side won the Double in 1971 and before even Herbert Chapman established his lasting legacy of success at the club, there was Norris.

Though he remains an obscure figure, this was the man whose Machiavellian machinations transported Arsenal to North London and secured their place in the top flight at Tottenham's expense. In short, Norris was the man who inadvertently gave birth to the North London derby, and helped lay the foundations for the modern Arsenal. Spurs fans will never forgive him.

A property developer responsible for building 2,000 homes in Wimbledon and Fulham between 1909 and the end of the First World War in 1918, Norris enjoyed a fearsome reputation, so much so that one of his managers, Leslie Knighton, would write of his chairman: "I have never met his equal for logic, invective and ruthlessness against all who opposed him. When I disagreed with him at board meetings and had to stand up for what I knew as best for the club and boys, he used to flay me with words until I was reduced to fuming, helpless silence."

Norris - described by one Arsenal chronicler as "nothing less than a dictator" - certainly had a singular vision for the future of Woolwich Arsenal, as they were then known, after becoming chairman and it didn't involve the South London district of Plumstead. Norris attempted to merge Fulham and Arsenal before coming to the conclusion in 1913 that if the Gunners were to address their disastrous financial position, they would have to relocate. What became known as the "great Arsenal gamble" was underway.

Sites in Battersea and Haringey were considered but space was found in Highbury next to Gillespie Road tube station (later renamed Arsenal) and the Gunners moved into the Borough of Islington. Tottenham, located down Seven Sisters Road, were hugely unimpressed as Arsenal laid claim to a large portion of their catchment area. A grudge was forged that would grow into a deep-seated rivalry and a full 83 years before Wimbledon moved to Milton Keynes, the original 'Franchise FC' were born.

But if Tottenham fans and officials were unhappy to see Arsenal encroaching on their territory in 1913, they would be further angered six years later when - with the Football League resuming following the conclusion of the First World War - the Gunners expatriated them from the First Division.

Four months after Armistice Day brought a halt to battle on the Western Front in November 1918, the authorities sought to revitalise football and the First Division was to be resurrected and expanded to 22 clubs from 20. Tradition dictated the bottom two clubs from the previous season - Chelsea and Tottenham - would be handed a reprieve, and that the top two clubs in the Second Division - Derby and Preston - would be promoted.

Certainly Chelsea were in a strong position, as the club had only fallen into the relegation zone in 1914-15 due to a notorious match-fixing scandal involving Manchester United and Liverpool. As events transpired, they retained their place without a vote being taken by the Football League at the crucial meeting because, as reports at the time stated, "the manner in which they lost their position before war interfered with the game is generally regarded as unsatisfactory".

Tottenham were fully expected to join Chelsea in the top flight, but then Arsenal, led by Norris, made an audacious move. Based partially on their longer service in the Football League (Arsenal were the first southern side to join in 1893), Norris argued that the Gunners were more deserving of a place than Tottenham, let along Barnsley and Wolves, who had both finished above them in the final Second Division season before the war. Following Arsenal's lead, Nottingham Forest, Birmingham and Hull all submitted their own applications and, with the promoted Derby and Preston ushered into the top flight, a seven-way tussle was underway for the final place in the expanded 22-team division.

The Daily Express recorded the anticipation felt ahead of the meeting in Manchester on March 10, 1919: "London was never more intimately concerned with Football League deliberations than on this occasion... There is an understanding that Chelsea will be voted into the First Division, and when the present scheme was first mooted it was regarded as a matter of course that they would be accompanied by Tottenham Hotspur, but The Arsenal considered that they had a superior claim and issued an appeal to the clubs to vote for them in preference to the Spurs ... there is a strong body of opinion that considers Tottenham Hotspur ought to remain in the First Division."

It was almost certain that the place would go to a side from the capital - after all, an unnamed northern official told the Daily Mirror, "our boys like a visit to London once or twice a year ... they get a show at the theatres and see something of the great city. The directors also enjoy a visit to the big smoke" - but momentum swung decisively in Arsenal's favour when League chairman and Liverpool owner John McKenna, a close friend of Norris, urged clubs to vote in favour of the Gunners as they had joined the League some 15 years before Tottenham.

When the votes were counted, Arsenal had won the support of 18 clubs, Tottenham 8, Barnsley 5, Wolves 5, Forest 3, Birmingham 2 and Hull 1. Despite finishing fifth in the Second Division in the final season before the Football League was suspended, it was Arsenal who would occupy a place in the top flight, and not their neighbours Tottenham.

It would be a touch anachronistic to say the decision was a travesty - with the Southern League remaining very much a rival to the Football League, Arsenal's service to the latter was of real value and the league structure was far more fluid than we are accustomed to now - but it was very much a shock, and not a pleasant one for Tottenham fans. Arsenal had completed one of the most brazen coups in the history of football, overseen by Norris and supported by McKenna, and resentment quickly grew as they enjoyed the trappings of top-flight football and Spurs were sent down a division.

As the Daily Mirror reported: "The fact that Tottenham Hotspur, the cup winners of 1901, lose status is deplored by some but, on the other hand, Arsenal's unswerving loyalty to the league over a long period of years fully merited recognition."

Norris' great finesse had worked, though not without generating controversy that would echo through his ages. His close relationship with McKenna led to accusations that he had influenced the vote and that Arsenal had won their place in the top flight due to corruption. Certainly Norris' reputation was besmirched by the events of 1927 when the FA expelled him from football due to financial irregularities at Arsenal, but no evidence was produced regarding Arsenal's ascent in 1919 and Norris never addressed the issue prior to his death in 1934.

Though Norris remains an unknown figure to the vast majority of football fans, his story is central to the evolution of the North London derby. Many famous figures passed through Highbury's marble halls, but perhaps none has been so decisive in creating Arsenal's history, and their rivalry with Tottenham.

As no less of an authority than Brian Glanville - the highly-respected journalist who ghosted Cliff Bastin's autobiography in 1950 and still attends Arsenal games to this day - writes in his exhaustive The Real Arsenal: From Chapman to Wenger: "In the pantheon of Arsenal's heroes, none surely stands higher than the supreme Herbert Chapman, rivalled as an exceptional manager only by Arsene Wenger. But in my opinion, the most influential figure in Arsenal's long and remarkable history is Sir Henry Norris. A name surely long since forgotten in the annals of English football, yet equally surely, to my mind, the man who by hook, crook, persistence and wealth made everything possible for the club which he took across the Thames in 1913."

What happened next? Norris replaced Leslie Knighton with the revolutionary Herbert Chapman in 1925 and Arsenal were transformed forever. Norris departed the club under a cloud following a financial investigation, losing a libel action against the FA in 1929, but his impact would be felt for decades more. Arsenal have never surrendered their place in the top flight since that fateful day in 1919 and are the only club to boast that distinction.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.