Arsenal Football Club, based in Holloway, London is one of the most successful professional football clubs in English football. They have won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and a record 12 FA Cups.
Founded in 1886, they were the first club from the south of England to join the Football League in 1893. Their pedigree has been demonstrated time and again, from the 1930s when Arsenal won 5 League Championships and 2 FA Cups; in 1971 they won the League and FA Cup Double - only the second club to ever achieve this in the 20th century; in the 1990's and 2000's they won a Cup double, two more League and FA Cup Doubles, and in the 2003-2004 season were undefeated. Arsenal were also the first London club to have reached the UEFA Champions League Final. Unsurprisingly, Arsenal has one of the highest incomes and largest fanbases in the world. In 2014 it was estimated to be worth $1.3 billion and was named the fifth most valuable association football club by Forbes magazine.
Their first pitch was the Manor Ground, Plumstead, initially just a field until the club installed stands and terracing for their first Football League match in September 1893. For the next 20 years all home games were played at Manor Ground (bar two exceptions in the 1894-1895 season). In 1913 the club moved to Highbury, North London, their home until 2006. The final move to date in July 2006 was a mere 500 metres south-west of Highbury, to the Emirates Stadium with a capacity of 60,272 - the third largest football stadium in England, after Wembley and Old Trafford. The stadium was named after its sponsors, the airline Emirates, and this deal, worth around a whopping £100 million, is the largest sponsorship deal in the history of English football.
The club's fans often refer to themselves as 'Gooners', derived from the team's nickname, 'The Gunners'. The Gooners are not only large in number but also generally very loyal, virtually all home games are a sell-out and the fans are willing, on occasions, to pay an exorbitant price for an Arsenal ticket. In 2007-2008 Arsenal had the second highest average League attendance record for an English club (at 60,070 - 99.5% available capacity). From 2006, they also hold the fourth highest all-time average attendance.
Arsenal also boast numerous media 'firsts', from the first match to be broadcast live on radio (against Sheffield United in January 1927), they were part of the BBC's first Match of the Day (against Liverpool in August 1964) and were BSkyB's first match to be broadcast on 3D TV (against Manchester United in January 2010).
Love them or loathe them, the Gunners have a long, established history which any football team would be proud to have.
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