Premier League History Book: Arsenal

The English Premier League is rich with football history in its 32 years of history. 20 teams compete each season in a promotion/relegation system throughout 38 matches. Fifty-one clubs have had the honour of competing under the current banner.

After the season is complete, the three lowest-ranking EPL teams will be relegated each season to The Championship League while the top two Championship League squads will get the call-up.

After a series of playoff games, a third team will join the ranks of the EPL to round out the next season’s 20 teams. This series will look at all 20 clubs of the 2023/24 season from a historical perspective. The first squad we will take a look at is Arsenal.

Creation of Arsenal

Founded in October 1886, The Arsenal Football Club are playing their 137th year of football, while marking their 32nd year in the EPL as charter members. 111 years since the last time the squad has been relegated, Arsenal are among the most successful clubs with the third-most trophies of all the English clubs.

Munitions workers at the Royal Arsenal founded the club, originally by the name of “Dial Square Football Club,” but it is easy to see over the evolution of the club’s name how “Arsenal” would become the club’s permanent name. 15 munitions specialist, along with David Danskin, played the organization’s first match on 11 December 1886, winning 6-0.

1910 saw the club face rough times, eventually filing for bankruptcy. Eventually, businessman Henry Norris and William Hall became involved in the club and looked to relocate to improve attendance.

After their relegation to the second division in 1913, Arsenal would drop the “The” in their documents of the club’s name and move to Highbury. Moving on in history, World War II would serve as a tough time for the team as they lost more players in battles compared to any other First League squad.

Kits and Stadiums

Though the first handful of club years do not have an identified kit manufacturer, in the 1930s English sportswear company, Bukta, began its run as the club’s manufacturer that would last for 40 years. Umbro would then have a 15-year run from 1971 to 1986 as the kit producer before Adidas would have an eight-year run.

They year 1994 saw Nike enter the fold producing Arsenal’s kit and would continue to do so until 2014. Then Puma took on a short run as the kit producer from 2014 to 2019, with Adidas taking over from 2019, continuing to this day.

Since 2006, Emirates, a major airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been the chest shirt sponsor. It was not until 1981 though until a shirt sponsor was named, which was electronic company JVC. This sponsorship lasted 18 years before a short run by Sega Dreamcast. Arsenal has only had one sleeve shirt sponsor and that is Visit Rwanda, which began in 2018.

Until 1913, Arsenal did quite a bit of moving around in search of a permanent location. They began their time at Plumstead Common, located in south-east London before moving to Manor Ground in Plumstead. Invicta Ground also hosted the squad for a few years leading into 1893.

Arsenal would return to Manor Ground for the next 20 years after joining the First League, upgrading the field to be suitable for crowds. The move to Arsenal Stadium would be their home for nearly 100 years, hosting the Gunners from 1913 to May 2006. Currently, Arsenal’s home ground is Emirates Stadium, which currently has a capacity of over 60,000.

All-Time Record Holders

First, we have to look at Arsenal as a unit. Overall, the club has 13 first division titles (three of those in the EPL.) Along with two EFL Cups, Arsenal also has a record 14 FA Cups.

The record for most appearances in Arsenal red is by Irish defender David O’Leary with 722, the only non-British in the top-10 of appearances. In the scoring department, one of the greatest French strikers of all time, Thierry Henry, holds Arsenal’s all-time goalscorer record with 228 goals in 377 appearances.

On the monetary end of the spectrum, Declan Rice holds the record for biggest paid transfer fee with €100million being paid to to West Ham for the current defensive midfielder.

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