Tottenham Hotspur and the First Division 1919-20

January 31, 1919
Tottenham Hotspur, who finished last in the First League Division of 1914-15, and would in ordinary circumstances have figured in company with Chelsea in Division 2, in the following season, have, in view of the proposed extension of the League, circularised the various League clubs as follows:

“Now that the Football Association has given official sanction to the extension of the League, and in view of the proposed notice of motion to increase its numbers, we feel that while we have hitherto kept silent the time has arrived when our vital interests should be represented to you.

“The rules of the League make no provision for the contingency which arises consequent on extension, but the records show that there exists the next best thing to a rule – precedent.

“Never in the history of the League has a First Division club been relegated to the Second Division when the League has been increased.

“No doubt you will remember that at the end of the season 1897-1898, when Division I was extended from 16 to 18 clubs, Blackburn Rovers were reinstated in the First Division. Again, at the end of season 1904-5, Bury and Notts County would automatically have been relegated to the Second Division but for the extension of Division I., when those two clubs retained their position in the First Division.

“We therefore submit that the principle first established in 1898 and confirmed in 1905 should again be followed, and the two bottom clubs retained in the First Division. On other grounds we are of opinion that justice is on our side. For instance, voluntary enlistments in the Army during 1914-15 season reduced our playing strength, and, in our opinion, had to a certain extent the effect of losing our position in the First Division.”
(Nottingham Evening Post: January 31, 1919)

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