100 Owners: 98. Henry Norris (Arsenal)

The formative years of professional football in England were a turbulent time, a period in which the rules – both written and unwritten – which underpin our notions of how a football club should be formed and what its reasonable constituency should be were effectively non-existent. Although football clubs in the Midlands and the North of the country tended to follow very similar lines in their formation, this was not the case in the capital city, London. There were no clubs from London amongst the original twelve that formed the Football League in 1888 and the non-league game – both in the forms of the amateur Isthmian League and the then-professional Southern League contained names that would be familar to many these days. One figure would come to dominate football in London during its formative years, a man who was involved in the histories of two clubs but ended up banned for life from further involvement in the game by the Football Association: Sir Henry Norris. Norris, originally an estate agent and property developer, attempted a merger of two of London’s clubs which was blocked by the Football Association, moved a club from South London to the north of the city and played a hugely sgnificant role in the creation of a dynasty that still exists to this day. Yet he would end up in football’s equivalent of exile...

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