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May 2021

Tonight there is something really important happening

By Tony Attwood

It is easy to believe that nothing much is happening.

The transfer window has gone, the internationals are here, Radio 5 acts as if we are all interested in international football, despite huge evidence that lots of people are not, and the tabloids continue without a break as if there was a transfer window in evidence.

It is in fact a fantasy make believe land.  We can’t even take the speculation about what Steve Bould has done to the defence any further, because we need a fourth match to get a broader picture.

But tonight we have the AGM of Arsenal Independent Supporters Association, is happening at the Emirates Stadium.   Members of AISA will be addressed by Perry Groves and Tom Fox, the Chief Commercial Officer for Arsenal.

There will also be a session on ticketing policies too.

I must admit I was hoping I might have a chance to say a word or three about the AISA Arsenal History Society, and to promote the latest AISA publication (called “Wartime, Promotion and the pre-Chapman years”) not to mention the book “Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed history” which I wrote with Andy and Mark.  But with the lineup of Groves and Fox, I rather suspect there won’t be time – nor indeed any inclination for people to listen.

So, there being nothing else to do, let me tell you about the Arsenal History Society, which is indeed part of AISA.

The view of the Society is that Arsenal’s history has been written wrongly all these years.   People have just repeated what others have said over and over again, and left it at that.

But because what was said in the first books on Arsenal was in fact a set of memories written 25 or even 50 years after the events, they were wrong.

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When I made my first speech to the AISA AGM a couple of years ago, I said that the sort of issue I wanted to sort out was the one about Arsenal’s promotion in 1919.  For years a set of half-truths and fantasies have been reported concerning that promotion, and indeed Arsenal’s own publication have backed away from the issue, thinking something was wrong.

There wasn’t anything wrong, in fact, and the new history booklet on “Wartime, Promotion and the Pre-Chapman Years” which all members will have had copies of via the post, sets out to put the record straight.

That is just one of a whole number of stories that we have sorted out.   We’ve also done a lot to re-write the history of Henry Norris, a man who has been written up as a crook and con-artist, when in fact he was the man who repeatedly saved Arsenal from extinction and a man of considerable honour and forward-thinking ability.

The way we work is this: first off there is the daily blog, where ideas are kicked around.  Articles are written, and where an analysis is wrong, people write in with counter evidence and thoughts.

From there whole series of articles emerge.  We have the most complete analysis of Arsenal’s managers, along with a growing number of articles about what they did, what they achieved, where they went wrong etc etc.  We have also unravelled how the club was formed, the first game, and the changing of the name.

Then there is the Anniversary Chart, which is slowly filling in details of what happened on each day of the year in relation to Arsenal.   Many of the entries are now linked to articles.

We are also now, because of the 100 years of Islington anniversary, looking at what happened to Arsenal 100 years ago, week by week.

Plus we have traced back the activities of people who claim to be Arsenal fans, but actually boo their own players, the history of the enmity between Arsenal and Tottenham, and more and more.   Take a look at the full index of series.

If you will be at the AGM, do come along and say hi.  I’ll be in a black and white stripped shirt, and have got white hair and glasses.

The books:

The club that changed football

Making the Arsenal

The web site and its series

The Blog

And all the other series done…

6 comments to Tonight there is something really important happening

  • colario

    I wish I could be there so that I could personally thank you for your posts and your work for the cause of Arsenal. Colario.

  • Stuart

    Tony, do you have guest list entitlement 😉

  • GodWoreTen

    I too would love to be there now. I’ll shake your hand one of these fine days. Or maybe a rainy one… untold is just great

  • GodWoreTen

    Oh and I never felt I needed to make this painfully clear – my monikker is for a dutchman ; but please not one called after a bird

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Keep up the good work Tony – your dedication in getting the Arsenal history right is very admirable ,and we thank you .
    Thanks too for the great posts on this blog -the only football site that I read and comment on .

  • elkieno

    This site is 2nd to none, keep up the good work and keep up the make believe story slaying too..