Arsenal Football Club (The Gunners) is an English professional football club based in Islington, north of London, consisting of a men's first team, an academy, and a women's team. Arsenal competes in the top flight of English football, the Premier League. At the same time, the Academy plays in the Premier League 2 Division 1 and the Premier League U18, and the Arsenal Women F.C. competes in the Women's Super League.
Brief history and name change
The club was formally formed in October 1886 by Scotsman David Danskin and fifteen fellow munitions workers in Woolwich. They first named the club Dial Square Football Club after a workshop at the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex. At the beginning of 1887, the club was renamed Royal Arsenal and became the first London club to turn professional in 1891.
The Royal Arsenal was later renamed Woolwich Arsenal in 1893 upon becoming a limited company and registered with The Football League when the club ascended later that year.
Financial problems and the arrival of more accessible football clubs led to failing attendances and bankruptcy, causing the club to close by 1910. However, Businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall became involved in the club and sought to move it elsewhere.
In 1919 after the club had moved to Highbury, The Football League controversially voted to promote The Arsenal, instead of relegated local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, into the newly enlarged first Division, despite finishing fifth in the Second Division's last pre-war season of 1914-15. The Arsenal started dropping 'the' in the official documents later that year, gradually shifting its name for the final time towards Arsenal.
Arsenal is currently owned by an American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke, who is the largest shareholder on the Arsenal board. He first launched his bid for the club in 2007 and faced competition from a company called Red and White Securities for shares. Kroenke achieved a complete takeover of the club in 2011 by buying Nina Bracewell-Smith and Danny Fiszman's shareholding, taking his shares to 62.89%. In 2018 the American bought out Alisher Usmanov's shares and 22 more, expanding his ownership, and he now owns more than 90 of the shares.
Currently, Arsenal's home is the Emirates Stadium since 2006, and the stadium got its name after its sponsors, the airline company Emirates. Before joining the Football League, they initially played at Plumstead Common and at the Manor Ground. However, after the club moved north in 1913, Arsenal played at Arsenal Stadium, widely referred to as Highbury, until 2006. The club built the Emirates due to restrictions they faced when expanding Highbury
Colors, badge, and kit sponsorship
Arsenal's home colors have been bright red shirts with white sleeves and white shots for much of their history, although they originally wore redcurrant shirts, a dark shade of red, white shorts, and blue socks with white hoops. In 1993, manager Herbert Chapman wanted his players to be more distinct; he updated the kit by adding white sleeves and changing the shade to a brighter pillar box red. The red and white colors have come to define Arsenal, and the club has used them ever since, except for two seasons.
Kit manufacturers from the beginning of the club up to 1930 were unidentified, and the club did not have a shirt sponsor. The first company to manufacture Arsenal kits was Butka in 1930 and did so up to 1970 when Umbro took over. Umbro manufactured the kits until 1986, when Adidas took over, but in 1981 a Japanese T.V. company known as JVC became the first to sponsor the shirts. JVC sponsored the shirts until 1999, and at the time the kits were manufactured by Nike who took over from Adidas in 1994. The sponsorship then went to Dreamcast Sega from 1999 to 2002, then passed to an English telecommunications company O2, who sponsored the shirt up to 2006.
The Fly Emirates then took over as the shirt sponsors in 2006 and did so until the present. However, Puma briefly took over kit manufacturing in 2014 from Nike before Adidas came back in 2019 and has been manufacturing the kits ever since. Visit Rwanda is the first sleeve sponsor, and they began in 2019 to the present.
Arsenal's badge has changed six times over the years. The final crest was created in 2003 and featured modern curved lines and a cannon that faced east. The red color dominates the badge, but there are brown, blue, and white colors on it, and the name Arsenal is written in a sans-serif typeface above the cannon.
Fans and rivalries
Arsenal attracts a massive following around the globe, and their fanbase is referred to as "Gooners." The name is derived from the club's nickname, "The Gunners," and virtually all home matches sell out. They have the seventh-highest average attendance of European clubs behind Borussia Dortmund, F.C. Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Schalke 04.
Tottenham Hotspur is the longest-running and most profound Arsenal rival, and matches between the two are referred to as the North London derbies and are usually feisty. They also enjoy rivalries with Chelsea, Fulham, and West Ham within London. Their other main rivals on the pitch outside of London are Manchester United, and their rivalry intensified in the late 1980s as both sides were competing for the Premier League title. In 2003 an online poll by Football Fans Census listed Manchester United as Arsenal's biggest rivals, but in 2008 a poll recorded the Tottenham rivalry as more critical.
Arsenal is the third most successful club in English football in terms of trophies and sits second in the all-time Premier League table behind Manchester United. They have won 13 Premier League titles, behind Man United 20 and Liverpool 19, and are the only side to win the title unbeaten. They have claimed the most F.A. titles with a record of 14 cups, while they have won two League Cups, 16 F.A. Community Shields, the League Centenary Trophy, one European Cup Winner's Cup, and one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. They also have the longest streak in the top-tier of English football and have only been relegated once.
Arsene Wenger is the most successful and longest-serving Arsenal manager, appointed in 1996 and retired in 2018. He won the most trophies with seven F.A. cups, and he saw Arsenal record the longest Premier League unbeaten run of 49 matches between 2003 and 2004.
Arsenal's current manager is Mikel Arteta, a former clubs captain, and Pep Guardiola's protégé. He took over from Unai Emery, who came in after Wenger, but mediocre results saw him fired after one season. Arteta has managed to turn around the club and slowly bring back the Wenger mentality.