Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, London, England. Arsenal plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club has won 13 league titles (including one unbeaten title), a record 14 FA Cups, two League Cups, 16 FA Community Shields, the League Centenary Trophy, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, and one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
|Full name||The Arsenal Football Club|
|Founded||October 1886; 135 years ago as Dial Square|
|Owner||Kroenke Sports & Entertainment|
In October 1886, Scotsman David Danskin and fifteen fellow munitions workers in Woolwich formed Dial Square Football Club, named after a workshop at the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex. Each member contributed sixpence and Danskin also added three shillings to help form the club. Dial Square played their first match on 11 December 1886 against Eastern Wanderers and won 6–0.
Royal Arsenal renamed for a second time upon becoming a limited liability company in 1893. They registered their new name, Woolwich Arsenal, with The Football League when the club ascended later that year. Woolwich Arsenal was the first southern member of The Football League, starting out in the Second Division and reaching the First Division in 1904.
In 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, the grandstand of Woolwich Arsenal’s Plumstead stadium was burnt down by the suffragettes, as part of their nationwide bombing and arson campaign for women’s suffrage. The attack cost £1,000 in damages (around £120,000 today), and so the same year the club moved across the river to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury.
In 1919, The Football League controversially voted to promote The Arsenal, instead of relegated local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, into the newly enlarged First Division, despite only finishing fifth in the Second Division’s last pre-war season of 1914–15. Later that year, The Arsenal started dropping “The” in official documents, gradually shifting its name for the final time towards Arsenal, as it is generally known today.
After conducting an overhaul in the club’s operating model to coincide with Wenger’s departure, Basque-Spaniard Unai Emery was named as the club’s new head coach on 23 May 2018. He would become the club’s first ever ‘head coach’, while also their second ever manager from outside the United Kingdom.
On 20 December 2019, Arsenal appointed former midfielder and club captain Mikel Arteta as the new head coach. Arsenal finished the league season in eighth, their lowest finish since 1994–95, but beat Chelsea 2–1 to earn a record-extending 14th FA Cup title. After the season, Arteta’s title was changed from head coach to manager.
On 18 April 2021, Arsenal were announced as a founding club of the breakaway European competition The Super League; they withdrew from the competition two days later amid near-universal condemnation. Arsenal finished the season in eighth place once again, not qualifying for a European competition for the first time in 26 years.
Unveiled in 1888, Royal Arsenal’s first crest featured three cannons viewed from above, pointing northwards, similar to the coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich (nowadays transferred to the coat of arms of the Royal Borough of Greenwich).
In the 2011–12 season, Arsenal celebrated their 125th anniversary. The celebrations included a modified version of the current crest worn on their jerseys for the season. The crest was all white, surrounded by 15 oak leaves to the right and 15 laurel leaves to the left.
For much of Arsenal’s history, their home colours have been bright red shirts with white sleeves and white shorts, though this has not always been the case.
Since Puma began manufacturing Arsenal’s kits in 2014, new home, away and third kits were released every single season. In the 2017–18 season, Puma released a new color scheme for the away and third kits. The away kit was a light blue, which fades to a darker blue near the bottom, while the third kit was black with red highlight. Puma returned to the original color scheme for the 2018–19 season.
From the 2019–20 season Arsenal’s kits are manufactured by Adidas. In the 2020–21 season, Adidas unveiled the new away kit to mark the 15-year anniversary since leaving Highbury. The new away kit is white, with a marbled pattern all across to replicate the iconic marble hall in the East stand of Highbury.
Before joining the Football League, Arsenal played briefly on Plumstead Common, then at the Manor Ground in Plumstead, then spent three years between 1890 and 1893 at the nearby Invicta Ground.
Arsenal’s players train at the Shenley Training Centre in Hertfordshire, a purpose-built facility which opened in 1999. Before that the club used facilities on a nearby site owned by the University College of London Students’ Union. Until 1961 they had trained at Highbury.
Arsenal’s Academy under-18 teams play their home matches at Shenley, while the reserves play their games at Meadow Park, which is also the home of Boreham Wood F.C. Both the Academy under-18 & the reserves occasionally play their big games at the Emirates in front of a crowd reduced to only the lower west stand.
The largest shareholder on the Arsenal board is American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke. Kroenke first launched a bid for the club in April 2007, and faced competition for shares from Red and White Securities, which acquired its first shares from David Dein in August 2007.
In January 2018, Kroenke expanded his ownership by buying twenty-two more shares, taking his total ownership to 67.09%. In August 2018, Kroenke bought out Usmanov for £550m. Now owning more than 90% of the shares, he had the required stake to complete the buyout of the remaining shares and become the sole owner.
There has been criticism of Arsenal’s poor performance since Kroenke took over, which has been attributed to his ownership. Ivan Gazidis was the club’s Chief executive from 2009 to 2018.
Arsenal Best Player Award Winners
|2010–11||Jack Wilshere||England||MF||First English player to win the award|
|2011–12||Robin van Persie||Netherlands||FW|
|2014–15||Alexis Sánchez||Chile||FW||First non-EU player to win award|
|2017–18||Aaron Ramsey||Wales||MF||Longest time between winning multiple awards|
Mikel Arteta was appointed club manager in December 2019. The club’s previous manager was Unai Emery, who was appointed in May 2018 and left the club in November 2019.
There have been nineteen permanent managers and six caretakers of Arsenal since the appointment of the club’s first professional manager, Thomas Mitchell in 1897. The club’s longest-serving manager, in terms of both length of tenure and number of games overseen, is Arsène Wenger, who managed the club between 1996 and 2018. Two Arsenal managers have died in the job – Herbert Chapman and Tom Whittaker.
EFL and Premier League
- First Division/ Premier League (Level 1)
Winners (13): 1930–31, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1937–38, 1947–48, 1952–53, 1970–71, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04
- League Cup / EFL Cup
Winners (2): 1986–87, 1992–93
Winners (1) (record): 1988
- FA Cup
Winners (14) (record): 1929–30, 1935–36, 1949–50, 1970–71, 1978–79, 1992–93, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2016–17, 2019–20
- FA Community Shield(FA Charity Shield before 2002)
Winners(16): 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1991 (shared), 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2020
- UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup(European Cup Winners’ Cup before 1994)
Winners (1): 1993–94
- Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Winners (1): 1969–70