Arsenal is one of six clubs to have never been relegated from the modern Premier League, alongside Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Everton.
However, they have been relegated from the First Division of English football in the past. Here, we delve a long way back in time to look back on the unfortunate occasion when Arsenal was relegated to the Second Division in the 1912/13 season.
Woolwich Arsenal’s relegation to the Second Division
While Arsenal enjoyed modest success after their formation in 1886 as Dial Square, it was not financially sustainable – their home at the time, Manor Ground, was too small to accumulate a significant sum of money from ticket sales.
Efforts to move away from Manor Ground had been in vain. They relocated to the Invicta Ground in 1890, but were forced to move back in 1893 after its renting price was too costly.
As Arsenal’s financial situation worsened, so did performances on the pitch, as they steadily slid down the First Division table over the course of the next few seasons. In 1910, the club went into voluntary liquidation, but was saved from the brink by a consortium of businessmen led by property tycoon Henry Norris.
In an effort to bolster the coffers, Norris attained planning permission for a new, larger stadium, which would come to be known as Highbury.
The move to Highbury would prove to be a long-term success, as it helped skyrocket Arsenal to superstardom – in the short term, however, it was too little, too late.
In the 1912/13 First Division season Arsenal finished bottom of the league, winning just three games along the way, and they were relegated to the Second Division.
It was a sobering moment for Gunners supporters. They did not bounce back immediately, either – in their next season they finished third. Only the top two teams in the Second Division would be promoted at that time, meaning they would have to wait another year to try to win promotion back to the top flight.
In 1914/15, they finally managed to return to the First Division. Despite finishing fifth, two places below their finish in the 1913/14 season, they were re-elected to the pinnacle of English football. Since then, Arsenal have never suffered another relegation.
What are the odds of Arsenal being relegated again?
With a club of Arsenal’s financial strength, not to mention the vast swathes of talent at their disposal, it is very unlikely that Arsenal will ever be relegated again – especially when the fact that it has not happened in over 100 years is taken into consideration.
According to Oddschecker, Arsenal are the second least likely club to be relegated from the Premier League in the upcoming 2023/24 season, just behind champions Manchester City.
The shortest odds one can bet on for Arsenal to be relegated next season are being given out by Coral, who have Arsenal at 250/1 to finish in the bottom three. Meanwhile, BetVictor have the Gunners rated at 2000/1 to go down next season.