Arsenal Chairman Resigns – Arsenal’s Board Meeting Minutes 1927-8

The Dawning of a New Era

We have been given permission by Arsenal FC to publish the minute books for their board meetings for the seasons 1927-28 to 1932-33. These cover the build up to and the years of Arsenal’s early success.

Yesterday we published the minutes for 1927-28 on our website which you can view by clicking on this link.

Sir Henry Norris

So, what was discussed at the board meetings for this season? Well, the summer of 1927 was one of great upheaval at Arsenal. William Hall had resigned from the Arsenal board of directors in February, followed by chairman Sir Henry Norris as details of financial wrongdoings started to come to light. The upshot was that Hall, Norris and two other directors – Jack Humble and George Peachey – were banned for life following an FA investigation.

Sir Samuel Hill-Wood

Sir Samuel Hill-Wood took over as chairman and George Allison joined the board, having previously been the programme editor (quite a step up!). However, Sir Henry wasn’t about to give up without a fight and requested that he be given access to the club’s minute books to try to clear his name. Peachey caused issues within the boardroom as he continued to show up for meetings despite being banned and Humble requested that he be allowed back.

On the playing side of things there were plenty of comings and goings. Nine players were signed, including future captains Charlie Jones and Eddie Hapgood, and six players were sold. All of these are detailed, including transfer fees paid and received.

Arsenal sign Eddie Hapgood (click on image to enlarge)

Each meeting was generally finished with a list of shares that had been exchanged. William Hall decided to offload all of his shares. They mostly ended up with Sir Samuel Hill-Wood and John Edwards, being sold via Clapton Orient chairman Percy Boyden who will feature in a later season. 1000 previously unissued shares were sold to Herbert Reed who then sold them on. Reed would join the board of directors later in the season.

Wanting to ensure that there were no more wrongdoings happening, the board made sure that all incomings and outgoings were properly documented.

There was talk of speedway at Highbury. Heaven knows what that would have looked like when you consider how close the pitch was to the stands and terraces.

Details of the finances for the end of season summer tour were discussed and recorded.

A fascinating insight into the running of a major football club 100 years ago.

Copies of our books Royal Arsenal – Champions of the South and Arsenal: The Complete Record 1886-2018 are still available from the publishers.