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Answers to this weekend’s Arsenal History Quiz

Our quiz based on last week’s anniversaries asked these questions

In each case we gave four possible answers…

1: In Britain in the era after the first world war an issue arose several times which caused away teams in London significant difficulty in completing their away fixtures.  What was it?

 

2: In the 1930s Arsenal banned radio broadcasts from Highbury.  There was a cetrain irony in this.  What was it?

 

3: The Manager of the Month competition was set up by the BBC in 1993.  Who was the first Arsenal manager to win it.

 

4: In the spring of 1914 Highbury Stadium was closed for a short period.  Why was that?

 

5:  The match between Manchester Utd and Liverpool was clearly fixed on 2 April 1915.  As a direct result what happened?

 

And now the answers

1: In Britain in the era after the first world war an issue arose several times which caused away teams in London significant difficulty in completing their away fixtures.  What was it?

b) A series of strikes

Transport to away games was by train, with the country covered with a comprehensive network of trains, making it possible to get even to the smallest town, and many villages by train.  But anything that interrupted the flow of coal to the railways caused a problem – and strikes, first in the mines and then in support of the ports’ workers (where all imported coal was refused to be handled).

 

2: In the 1930s Arsenal banned radio broadcasts from Highbury.  There was a certain irony in this.  What was it?

a) The commentator the BBC used was an Arsenal director.

The prime commentator for the BBC was George Allison, a director of Arsenal.  He was not at the board meeting which voted to ban the radio broadcasts.  As far as I can ascertain, no fee was paid by the BBC for the right to broadcast each game.

 

3: The Manager of the Month competition was set up by the BBC in 1993.  Who was the first Arsenal manager to win it.

d) Arsene Wenger.   None of his three predecessors since the introduction of the award ever won it.

 

4: In the spring of 1914 Highbury Stadium was closed for a short period.  Why was that?

a) A wall at the rear of the terracing had fallen down.   Highbury was built in 1913 at incredible speed, and such was the rush that the pre-season games couldn’t even be played at the ground.  The workmen are reported to have been clearing the ground on the morning of the first match, and clearly much of it was rushed.  One prime result was that in the early days the pitch did not drain properly and was regularly little more than a mud heap.

 

5:  The match between Manchester Utd and Liverpool was clearly fixed on 2 April 1915.  As a direct result what happened?

 

c) Chelsea were not relegated to the 2nd Division.

The League agreed quickly that the only people who should be punished were the players, not the clubs and not the directors, even though Liverpool had been involved in a series of match fixing allegations.   As for the players as long as they admitted guilt and fought for their country in the war they would be forgiven.  Most did, and were.  However as a result of the match fixing Chelsea were relegated, and the League felt this had to be rectified.

It was later decided to enlarge the League by two teams.  Tottenham who had finished bottom of the league in 1915 were relegated leaving one more place.  An election was held and in recognition of Arsenal’s work in supporting the Football League (as opposed to the Southern League which Tottenham and other London clubs had entered) Arsenal were elected to that place.

No protests or questions were raised about Arsenal’s election at the time save for a column in the evening paper in Tottenham, and it was only many years later in a book about Arsenal written by a Tottenham supporter that the notion that there had been something unfair taking place was raised.  At the time no one raised any question or objection.

In the past year this site has examined the affair in far more detail than anyone else has ever undertaken.  You can read all the reports which include details of the minutes of the meeting at which Arsenal were elected, and commentaries from contemporary magazines and newspapers in the articles below…

The preliminaries

The voting and the comments before and after the election

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