By Bulldog Drummond
Because for most of their life Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic (now renamed AFC Bournemouth even though they still play in Boscombe) has played in the Third Division (south) and the Division III, the number of games between Arsenal and Bournemouth is small.
They joined the Football from the Southern League in 1923, at a time when Arsenal had the perfidious Leslie Knighton as manager – Knighton eventually retiring to Bournemouth to be a golf club secretary and write his awful memoires for which he would undoubtedly have been sued if the people at Arsenal he was writing about had still been alive.
(Incidentally if you are interested in the lies Knighton told the whole story is told in articles from the series “Henry Norris at the Arsenal” Details are given at the end of this piece.)
From their moment of joining the league Bournemouth stayed in the 3rd Division (South) until 1958 when, courtesy of finishing in the top half of the league they entered the… Third Division, which they eventually left in 1970 on being relegated to the 4th Division. Promoted in 1971, relegated in 1974, promoted in 1982, and again in 1987 it looked like they had exceeded themselves when they were knocked back down from the 2nd division after just three seasons.
They did of course quickly return to the second courtesy of the 1st division being renamed the Premiership and thus the third becoming the second, but by 2003 they were back down in the bottom section of the Football League.
After a bit more up and down stuff they had their crisis years – in 2008 they had 10 points deducted for being naughty, and that took them down to the bottom tier. In 2009 it was worse – 17 points deducted ending up 21st in the fourth tier.
And then along came the money. Maxim Victorovich Demin, became co-owner of the club in 2011 after they had got back into League One. He bought his share for £850,000. They were promoted in 2013 and 2015 to reach the Premier League. They have finished 15th, 9th and 12th in their seasons at the top.
In May 2016 Bournemouth were ordered to pay £7.6m from breaking FFP rules while getting promoted having made a loss of £38.3m loss in 2014/15 as they won the Championship.
Bournemouth did not pay the sum due but in July 2018 it was agreed that they would pay £4.75m to the Football League to settle the fine. The League explained away its lack of willingness to extract the full fine as being because the club “did not make any deliberate attempt to infringe the rules or to deceive”.
And this even though in two earlier seasons they had been deducted a grand total of 27 points!
Which suggests they lost the money by mistake, not because they persistently were unable to follow the rules. I guess, when you think of it, that just means they were very careless.
Here are all the results for matches between Arsenal and Bournemouth excluding friendlies.
|27 Oct 1987||Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth||W||3-0||League Cup|
|28 Dec 2015||Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth||W||2-0||Premier League|
|07 Feb 2016||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||W||0-2||Premier League|
|27 Nov 2016||Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth||W||3-1||Premier League|
|03 Jan 2017||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||D||3-3||Premier League|
|09 Sep 2017||Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth||W||3-0||Premier League|
|14 Jan 2018||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
As can be seen, their victory on 14 January this year was their first ever over Arsenal. Their previous best result was in the scorpion kick game
The Knighton stories
- Exposing the second libel against Henry Norris: the summer of 1920.
- The 3rd Knighton allegation against Norris: did he sell much-needed Fred Pagnam just for profit?
- May/June 1921: Knighton the fantasist. The fourth allegation.
- Why did Arsenal manager Knighton turn down Man City but not buy players? Summer of 1921.
- March 1922: Desperate times for Arsenal, Norris returns and the transfer limit allegation overturned
- Arsenal in the Summer 1923: another Knighton allegation but the evidence is again against him.
- Managerial fantasies about West Ham, as a deep rot sets in. Arsenal in January 1925.
- What does Europe think of the Premier League? Less and less it seems
- Arsenal Women 2021/2 Review, Part 3 – 21 Players to keep; 9 players to let go
- So did Arsenal make progress this season? And what of the rest.
- Arsenal Women 2021-22 Season Review: Part 2 WSL Match by Match highs and lows
- The ten things we really learned from the 2021/2 season