Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in North London. It currently operates in the English Premier League in England. The club has won 13 League titles, 13 FA Cup trophies (record) and one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup among other honours.
The club are owned by a holding company named Arsenal Holdings plc. Stan Kroenke, an American businessman, is their majority owner while Alisher Usmanov also holds a hefty chunk of the holding company.
The football club were founded in 1886 as Dial Square and gained membership to the Football League in 1893. Arsenal first entered the top division in 1904. They have been relegated from the top flight only once in their history back in 1913. The club hit a purple patch during the 1930s when they won five League championships and two FA Cups. Following the World War II, Arsenal won a couple of league titles and the FA Cup once again. The team achieved their first ever league and cup double during the 1970-71 season under Bertie Mee. Herbert Chapman laid the foundations for a solid side in the late 20s and the early 30s before George Allison oversaw a period of real dominance during the 30s and the 40s.
George Graham led Arsenal into the modern era after his appointment in 1986. He won the league title in this third season as manager before winning his second league title in 1990-91. However, success in the league escaped him in the later part of his reign at Arsenal although the club dominated the cup competitions. Graham was fired over misconduct in his transfer dealings in 1995.
Arsene Wenger took over from Graham and enjoyed a wonderfully successful 22-year reign at Arsenal. Although the first part of his managerial tenure brought great success for the Gunners, Arsenal struggled to win the league in the last decade. Wenger has been credited with making some important cultural changes in the club and that worked in his favour. He also brought in some fantastic players into the club such as Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars who combined with those at the club to help the Gunners win the league and FA Cup double in 1997-98.
Thereafter, Arsenal repeated the feat in 2001-02 with Thierry Henry and Denis Bergkamp leading the attack for the Gunners. Wenger became the first manager to retain the FA Cup a year later when Arsenal won the trophy in 2002-03 as well. The following year, Wenger guided Arsenal to their third league title under him in what proved to be an unbeaten season for Arsenal in the league. It was only the second time that a club managed to achieve the feat in English football.
In 2006, Wenger helped Arsenal to the Champions League final, where they were beaten by FC Barcelona. The club’s next trophy came at the end of the 2013-14 season when they won the FA Cup. The team repeated the feat the following season as Wenger became the most successful manager in the history of the competition alongside George Ramsay.
Henry is the club’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 228 goals from 377 appearances for the club between 1999 and 2007. With 722 appearances in all competitions between 1975 and 1993, David O’Leary has featured for the Gunners the most number of times. Defender Tony Adams, one of Arsenal’s best captains, is the second man on the list with 669 first team appearances between 1983 and 2002.
At 38.2 million GBP, Mesut Ozil has been their most expensive transfer. The German was bought from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day in September 2013.
In 2018, Unai Emery followed Wenger after he stepped down from Arsenal, but the Spaniard’s reign was short, with ex-Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta taking over in late 2019 with the club no longer contending for league titles.
- First Division/Premier League (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
- FA Cup (13): 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
- League Cup (2): 1986–87, 1992–93
- European Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1993–94