Rivalry with Arsenal Intensifies.
It's rather ironic that today's newspapers are reporting UEFA's decision on the Champions League places for next year -
Spurs may pay price if Arsenal conquer Europe
Friday March 10, 2006
'Arsenal were told last night that they will go directly into next season's Champions League group stage if they win the European Cup in May, a Uefa move which may have an impact on the ambitions of their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. A Uefa spokesman confirmed that should Arsenal win the final in Paris they, like Liverpool this season, would be permitted to defend the title, but next season the Gunners would not have to start in the qualifying rounds. Such a move would be at the expense of the team finishing fourth in the Premiership, who would go directly into the Uefa Cup.
Spurs currently occupy fourth place, five points clear of Arsenal with 10 games left. Last season Liverpool entered the qualifying stages in addition to Everton, who had finished fourth. A Uefa spokesman said: "We changed the rules last summer after Liverpool won the Champions League'.
So if Arsenal won the Champions League they would go directly into the competition. If this were to happen at Spurs' expense it would be a re-run of the decision taken at a meeting of the Football League on 10th March, 1919, when Spurs lost out on a place in the larger 1st Division, to Arsenal who had finished the pre-War season in 5th position in the 2nd Division. In that season, Spurs had finished in a relegation spot but on previous occasions when the League had increased in size, the two teams in the relegation spots, retained their status.
Arsenal had persuaded their 'friends' in high places that they should be one of the promoted sides as they had been in the Football League longer that Spurs. Rivalry was intense with Arsenal having moved from Woolwich and set up in North London, now it increased greatly - and would NOT be forgotten.
According to legend, the parrot died on the day, 10th March, 1919, that Arsenal took Spurs' place in the 1st Division.