In today’s world, for football clubs to become hugely successful they should have a world-class stadium, a large fan base and a marketable name to be able to survive around the big fish. At Arsenal, those things have been looked at and done since 1913.
As most of us Gooners know, Arsenal Football Club was established in 1886 by Royal Arsenal workers in Woolwich, south- east London. At the time, the team’s name was Dial Square before changing to Woolwich Arsenal shortly afterwards. It was at the time of Henry Norris, then owner of the club, where things started ticking. Due to low attendances and the club underperforming on the field and financially, Norris sought to move Woolwich Arsenal to North London in 1913. Upon moving to Highbury, Norris dropped the name Woolwich and renamed the club Arsenal.
Another innovative period in Arsenal’s history was the appointment of Herbert Chapman in 1925 as manager. Chapman revolutionized the club in many ways, introducing floodlights at Highbury, numbers on player’s shirts, striped socks for players to know each other on the field and white sleeves instead of the all dark red shirt (worn in 2005-2006 season in honor of Highbury). Chapman introduced new training techniques and formations, signed respectable players and won a lot of silverware along the way until his sudden death in 1934.
The third major change was the appointment of the then unknown Arsene Wenger in 1996. The club was looking for stability, growth, along with a playing style that was attractive, rather than “boring boring Arsenal” of the early 90’s. The club knew that with attacking flair Arsenal would prosper and gain a lot of followers from all over the world. Arsene Wenger introduced different training methods, a diet for players that was nonexistent in English football, and an attack minded team with flair. Buying Nicolas Anelka from PSG for £500,000 and selling him two seasons later for £23m, using the money to build a first class training facility for the club in London Colney is still talked about today.
Wenger created a team that dictated English football for years and were undefeated for 49 games, he worked with a very limited budget in order to ensure the club moved to the Emirates, a 60,000+ first class stadium without financial problems and kept competing for the Premier League and Champions League despite facing teams with unlimited amount of money.
The club’s long-term vision will always be remembered as a great achievement for many years. They not only saw the advantages of having an attractive name in an attractive location, but also set up plans to relocate to a larger state of the art stadium when other teams are suffering to do that. The club proudly spends money it generates without depending on others and now has the ability to compete financially for the best talent around. Players want to join Arsenal not only because they can now pay the wages, but also because of the football philosophy the club plays for.
Arsenal global records:
-First football team to use numbers on their shirts in 1927.
-First football team to play a match broadcasted live on radio in 1927.
-First football team to play a match broadcasted live on TV in 1937.
-First football team to play a match broadcasted live in 3D in 2010.
Arsenal Football Club is an example of a successful business model and football club that people will talk about for years to come.
Victoria Concordia Crescit…
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