Is it true ‘The Arsenal’ have never been relegated? – Here are the facts…

If Burnley win at Watford on Saturday it means Everton have to face Chelsea on Sunday 5 points from safety.

Suddenly the idea of the Toffees getting relegated, so often deemed ‘too good to go down’, becomes very real.

One of 6 clubs never to drop out of the Premiership, the Evertonians have been in the topflight since 1954, second only to Arsenal in the longest sequence of being In the English top division.

If Frank Lampard can’t sort things out, you can argue Everton would be the biggest name to finish in the bottom three in the Premier League era.

Before that time, even the likes of Man United and Liverpool found themselves in the second tier.

Man City and Chelsea’s history only improved once they were brought by Billionaires.

As for the Gunners, the likes of me were brought up on the notion that we are the only side in the country to never be relegated.


Or a myth?

Kind of depends on how you view things.

What can’t be disputed is that since 1919, we have been an ever present in the sport’s highest level of competition which is a record.

Up to the current day only one side has ever amassed more points than us.

Stats we should be proud of.

It’s factually correct to state that Arsenal or ‘The Arsenal’ have never been relegated. That’s what our name was changed too very soon after Woolwich Arsenal were relegated in 1913.

Yet that’s not meant to be some clever play on words.

In many ways Woolwich Arsenal and Arsenal would represent two different types of clubs.

As Spurs fans will tell you Woolwich’s origins are in the South of London and where we played as we worked our way up the football pyramid.

When part of our Plumstead ground was burnt down as part of a nationwide bombing campaign, this only added to our financial struggles.

That’s what convinced chairman Henry Norris to uproot across the capital to a ground you may have heard of …. Highbury.

‘The Arsenal ‘ were born.

A great trivia quiz answer, Arsenal are the only side to play in the second tier without ever relegated to get there and never promoted to escape.

To be fair the World War meant we only got one opportunity with the sport at that point only being played between those in your region.

When it was time for the game to resume in its normal form, Arsenal were voted as one of the clubs who should make up the first division extra spots with the competition expanding from 20-22 teams, despite finishing 5 the when the second division was last played.

Ask any Spurs follower and they will tell you how despite being a league above us at the time football was postponed, the Gunners received more votes based on their status as the first club from the south to join the Football League and more crucially, Henry Norris had connections as an MP and mayor of Fulham.

Take the emotion out of it, it wasn’t fair and would never be allowed to happen in 2022.

Although the Super League, that so many of us were against equally would have rewarded those based on reputation and wealth.

In the 100 years since we have more than contributed to the elite competition in England, earning a lot of money towards one of the UK’s greatest brands.

Plus did anyone really want a world with Spurs and no Arsenal in the top flight?

So…..Arsenal have never been relegated …. kind of

(Whisper) ssssh


Be kind in the comments


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Tags Henry Norris Highbury Woolwich Arsenal


  1. A guy called Kenny Rolfe in this site, who I believed to be a very old Gooner and highly knowledgeable, explained about that pride of Arsenal to me. Unfortunately, he’s no longer around

    1. Kenny was on JA ? Very knowledgeable Arsenal man is Kenny. Love his stories about Johnny Hoy and Putney during the 60’s and 70’s.

  2. I wonder whatever put the theme for this article in your mind DAN, and right now especially, after my post on your anti MA article a few days ago. In case you are wondering, some of you -DAN WON’T BE WONDERING AT ALL- that was a rhetorical question .

    I wrote that many of our younger fans did not even know we have been relegated. I said “younger fans like DAN who is 33/34”, though I not say DAN HIMSELF DID NOT KNOW. He must have thought I meant him though. SIGH!

    As for THIS actual article of Dans, he is attempting to argue, ludicrously IMO, that Woolwich Arsenal and our modern Arsenal are in effect two different clubs . Not surprising then that I regard myself and Dan as often being on two separate planets, myself being firmly grounded on Earth

    Why not go the whole hog and have two more clubs too, ROYAL WOOLWICH ARSENAL AND OUR OLDEST ANCESTOR, DIAL SQUARE!


    1. OH SILLY ME! I FORGOT THAT OTHER CLUB TOO, “THE Arsenal” . So many clubs to remember and me a man of 70, so how ever can I be expected to keep up with them all!!

    2. I wholly agree with you Jon – they are surely same. You have a way of writing I so much love and admire, even if I don’t agree with you often. Big ups 🙌

    3. You’re right. If every change of name means a new club, then Newton Heath and Manchester United are also two different clubs? What about “The Arsenal” and “Arsenal”? Are they to be regarded as two different entities too? (As I understand it, H Chapman was the one who dropped the “The” because for him Arsenal must always be at the top of the list, even alphabetically speaking).

    4. So true Jon Fox. While Woolwich may while be in South London, it only became a borough of London in the latter part of 1889, as before that it was North Kent. The name changed but the chairman, manager and a lot of the players remained the same upon our move to Highbury.

    1. Does anyone want a world with Spurs and no Arsenal in the top flight.

      Well I’ve been lucky enough to see us beat them 1-0 at Highbury on the Easter Monday of the 76/77 season, and that win for us virtually relegated them.

  3. Now , having given further thought to DANs article where he tries to argue we are two clubs; in HIS words, The Arsenal and Arsenal. I could add, albeit mischievously, Arsenal alone, Arsenal all by itself, Arsenal BC( before Chapman) Dial Square evolved, Arenal and Fulham(nearly) combined, Wengers Arsenal(the only club that so many youngsters really know or have even heard about) and so on ad infinitum(without end).
    Now to the serious and REAL point of this post: All clubs not only ours, can equally be called by manay names ; some have legally had many names ,others can be so described just as I have her used Dial Square evolved.
    Evo;lvement is wht life itself teaches us. We human individually abnd collectivekly have all evolved I could argue that the Talibam and Putin et have not evolved at all, but let thatpass for now.
    My point is that we humans are ALL individually ONE person but we go on ajourney of change(evolvement) throughout life.


    In my own life, I have been a baby, a toddler, a junior, a teenager, a young adult, a middle aged adult and an older adult.

    Am I therefore 7 people, hopefully, in time, to become eight OR just ONE miserable old git! You decide!

    1. Mr/Mrs Fox, I hope that my words are not misconstrued here. I take issue with your implied (and sometimes direct) notion that we “younger fans” are any less of supporter and lover of this great club as those that supported in the many decades prior to (what I believe to be) our most prominent and successful Era.

      We all love the game, for very diverse reasons we all love the Arsenal. I don’t have to know where Thierey Henry grew up and completed his primary and high school education to appreciate his heroics for this club, the memories and elation that this club has delivered to me personally does not require me to study the history from the early 1900s to justify my status as a fan and loyal supporter

      1. In short, I believe the article was really just addressing (in a cheek in tongue manner) the notion that, yes, the club had some name changes and technically therefore we have been relegated before *however* some of us just know this current iteration of The Arsenal and really there’s no harm in that. Not sure how you missed the last line of the article and a number of other (obvious imo) hints…you just elected to be combative

        Thanks to the author for the history lesson btw

      2. Don’t worry @SK. It was a good article, cleverly written by Dan. And if supporters/fans didn’t know about that bit of history, well no crime has been committed. You would probably be the same age as my son. I doubt he would have known that. Anyway @SK, you enjoy supporting your beloved Arsenal,,, and don’t let Jon Fox tell you how to support “The Arsenal”

        (ADMIN COMMENT – Sorry Mr Jennings for my edit. You know I can’t allow personal abuse…)

      3. SK, Care to explain the reason you refer to Mrs Fox? I realise English is not your first language and do not mean to be rude. BUT in ENGLAND it is polite and customary to address ONLY the person you are debating with.

        Please do not refer to Mrs Fox again, as she knows nothing much at all about Arsenal, though I know a great deal. I also know how etiquette works in this country of England where I live and where Arsenal is and thought it necessary to point it out to you.
        Your point is inaccurate too, as I DO NOT THINK YOUNGER FANS ARE LESS KEEN THAN OLDER ONES.


        THE REASON I SAY THAT IS THAT FROM MY MANY YEARS ON JA as a regular reader and poster, I have very often noticed how little todays younger fans, in general(which does NOT mean all) know of our club, pre Wenger, ie before 1996.


      4. SK, couldn’t agree with you more – everyone has to start supporting The Arsenal at one point in their life and they also decide how they support the club.

        It might surprise you to learn that Jon hadn’t been to an actual match (until he used my season ticket for two games) for many years…. despite living less than an hour from the ground!!!

        Now there are always opportunities to buy tickets, by enrolling in the red club… like Sue (where are you Sue?) has done since The Emirates opened up, buying tickets for her and her children on many occasions.

        While it is up to each individual (Jon) to decide how they support the club, likewise it’s also up to each individual fan (SK) as to what they should learn / know about the history of the club.

        I believe this article was written after a couple of views between Dan Kit and Herr Drier, but that doesn’t really matter.

        I would say though, there are some incredible facts and figures about our club – it depends whether you find them relevant, or helpful, to your commitment to the club that every Gooner follows.

        Does it really matter if we were relegated?
        I don’t believe MA will be the next / first manager to get us relegated, I’m hoping he will take us back to the CL…. and our history will have nothing to do with that!!!

        1. But Jon old chap, there is nothing you know about me that I’m the least bit worried about.
          I’ve followed my club, through thick and thin – respected every other Gooner, young and old – argued my point on JA, along with other sites – been corrected many times – made mistakes talking about our club – never disrespected a player – never wished anyone ill health within the club or outside it – so bring it on Jon.

          As I said, when you start preaching about how / what someone needs to do to support The Arsenal, make sure you are doing the self same thing.
          Oh and remember, when you call fellow Gooners “dullards” that is personal and I take it you won’t want my season ticket again, if it becomes available?

        2. But Jon old chap, there is nothing you know about me that I’m the least bit worried about.
          I’ve followed my club, through thick and thin – respected every other Gooner, young and old – argued my point on JA, along with other sites – been corrected many times – made mistakes talking about our club – never disrespected a player – never wished anyone ill health within the club or outside it – so bring it on Jon.

          As I said, when you start preaching about how / what someone needs to do to support The Arsenal, make sure you are doing the self same thing.
          Oh and remember, when you call fellow Gooners “dullards” that is personal and I take it you won’t want my season ticket again, if it becomes available? Pat, any reason my reply to Jon has been deleted?

        3. Ken I believe history should not be fixed or limited io a specific time frame. I started my history when i started supporting this great club. And I had witnessed us losing a single match in a season as well as the invincible. I had watched our club played most beautiful football most fan had ever seen and I had seen us played in our first cl final an el final. These are my history and I careless about what happened in 1900s. Though i had read about our history but I forget it quickly because I’m more interested in what is happening in my lifetime. As of present we are making history with Arteta both bad and good if we finish 4th at the end of the season. So an older fan should know when he died his history and knowledge of the club comes to an end and the younger generation continues with the club. Being an older fan or been more knowledgeable about our club is nothing to gloat about.

          1. Exactly my point, Adiva.
            Because I might like to delve into the past, doesn’t make me any more devoted to the club than you.
            All I would say, is keep supporting The Arsenal through thick and thin and enjoy being part of the best club in the world… and don’t lecture others on how they should support it!!

  4. In the actual sense of things as it relates to this subject matter. One will not be wrong if he or she from football history point of view does say “The Arsenal has never been relegated subce the club started playing at it’s Highbury Stadium. Or wouldn’t it?

    And after it later transisted to “The Arsenal to the simply Arsenal that moved from Highbury to the new Arsenal Stadium that is currently branded as “The Emirates Stadium” true, Arsenal has ever since not suffered any relegation calamity from the Premier League where it has been since it’s inception.

    But in the other hand of things, since “The Arsenal that is the offspring son of “Woolwich Arsenal” that suffered relegation before it’s gave birth to it’s son “The Arsenal. WIll it then be correct to say “The Arsenal” has once in history been relegated. As the sins of the father is upon the son up to his forth and fifth generations?

  5. A fan-base is all important, when valuing a football club, there’s no doubt.
    So to suggest that Gooners have, over the years, been following, up to, 4 different clubs is a huge slap in the face of our fan-base.
    How I see it is
    At the end of WW1, the FA resurrected its 4 tire football competition in 1919, after a 4 yr break, with 22 teams competing in the 1st division.
    Since that time, Arsenal fc is the only club in England to have never been relegated from the top division of English footy.
    That’s a record approaching 100 seasons of football history and will never be beaten, imo.

  6. Dear oh dear, and Dan thought he was innocently submitting an article which highlighted an idiosyncratic part of our history which perhaps might still gall spurs fans. Whatever it is a proud record and long may it run. Regarding Everton, I hope they stay up, but relegation could be the wake up call they need. ” The recession we had to have”, as a great Australian P.M. tried to explain. Certainly the examples of Liverpool, Manchester United, and AC Milan bouncing back stronger than ever demonstrate that sometimes a kick up the bum is required. I hope that The Arsenal remain above all that.

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