Arsenal F.C. are the longest residents in the top tier of English football, having been there since 1919. They have won 27 major trophies in that time, including three domestic Doubles.
Here we provide information on the history, ownership and some statistics about this popular football club:
First named Dial Square, the club were formed by workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich in 1886. In 1893 they became the first team from the south to join the Football League under the name Woolwich Arsenal. In 1904 they were promoted to Division One.
Arsenal F.C. relocated to Highbury in north London in 1913 when Woolwich was dropped from the clubs name. At this time, Arsenal F.C. were in Division Two, but in 1919, and despite finishing fifth, Arsenal F.C. were promoted to Division One.
Arsenal F.C. won their first trophy in the 1930 FA Cup Final. Adding five league titles in just eight seasons in that decade plus the FA Cup in 1936. After the war, Arsenal F.C. won league titles in 1948 and 1953 and an FA Cup in 1950. Their next trophy in 1970 was the club’s first European trophy, the Fairs Cup. In 1971 the club won the Double and won the FA Cup in 1979.
In 1987, 1989 and 1993 Arsenal F.C. won the League Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994.
Arsene Wenger was appointed manager in 1996 and led Arsenal to win the Double in 1997-98. In 2002 the club won the Double, ending the season with a run of 13 consecutive league wins. Regaining the title in 2004 Arsenal F.C. dubbed “The Invincibles”, remained unbeaten through the 38-game campaign, the first time a top flight English team had achieved such a feat since 1889. They took their unbeaten run to an English-record 49 games in 2004-05, the same season they won the FA Cup final. That would be last trophy of the decade for Arsenal F.C.
In 2014, winning the FA Cup Final lead Arsenal F.C. to qualify for the 2014 FA Community Shield, which they won. Nine months later, Arsenal won the FA Cup final for the second year in a row. In 2015, Arsenal earned their fourteenth Community Shield title.
Arsenal F.C. home colours are bright red shirts with white sleeves and white shorts. When the team was founded Nottingham Forrest sent kit of a dark red shirt, white shorts and socks with blue and white hoops.
In 1933 the kit was upgraded to bright red with white sleeves which remained except for 1966–67, when Arsenal F.C. wore all-red shirts and 2005–06, when the team wore shirts similar to those worn in the first season at the stadium for their last season at the stadium.
For many years Arsenal F.C. away colours were white shirts and either black or white shorts. In the 1969–70 season, Arsenal introduced an away kit of yellow shirts with blue shorts. A green and navy away kit was introduced in 1982–83. The following season, Arsenal returned to the yellow and blue scheme, albeit with a darker shade of blue than before. Since 2009, the away kit is changed every season.
Initially, Arsenal F.C. played at the Manor Ground in Plumstead, apart from a three-year period at the nearby Invicta Ground between 1890 and 1893. Stands and terracing were installed for their first Football League match at Manor Ground in September 1893.
Widely referred to as Highbury, Arsenal Stadium was the club’s home from 1913 until 2006. The stadium was overhauled in the 1930s when new Art Deco West and East stands were constructed. Capacity at Highbury was 57,000, but conversion under Premier League regulations to an all-seater stadium in time for the 1993–94 season reduced capacity to 38,419. From 1998 to 2000, Arsenal F.C. played Champions League home matches at Wembley, with a capacity of 70,000.
Unable to maximise match-day revenue, a new 60,361-capacity stadium at Ashburton Grove was built. Now named the Emirates Stadium, after the teams sponsors, the stadium opened in 2006 and will be officially known as Emirates Stadium until at least 2028.
Arsenal F.C. fans often refer to themselves as “Gooners”, derived from the team’s nickname, “The Gunners”. The fan-base is estimated at 113 million and virtually all home matches sell out.
The Arsenal Football Supporters’ Club, the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association and the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust are the largest UK supporters groups, though there are several overseas groups and fanzines.
Ownership and finances
The largest shareholder on the Arsenal F.C. board is American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke, who as at June 2015 owned 67.02 percent and Red & White Securities 30.04 percent. Ivan Gazidis has been the club’s Chief Executive since 2009.
The business magazine Forbes valued Arsenal F.C. as a whole at $2.0 billion (£1.4 billion) in 2016.
Arsenal’s financial results for the 2014–15 season show group revenue of £344.5m, with a profit before tax of £24.7m. Arsenal F.C. is ranked seventh among world football clubs. Match day revenue is £100.4m, more than any other football stadium in the world.
Statistics and records
- Thierry Henry is Arsenal’s record goalscorer, with 228 goals in all competitions.
- Arsenal’s tally of 13 League Championships is the third highest in English football, after Manchester United (20) and Liverpool (18).
- Arsenal were the first club to reach a seventh and an eighth League Championship.
- As of May 2016, Arsenal are one of only six teams to have won the Premier League since its formation in 1992.
- Arsenal hold the joint highest number of FA Cup trophies, 12.
- Arsenal were also the first London club to reach the final of the UEFA Champions League, in 2006, losing the final 2–1 to Barcelona.
- Arsenal have been in the top flight for the most consecutive seasons (90 as of 2015–16).
- Arsenal has the highest average league finishing position for the twentieth century of 8.5.