Arsenal F.C. supporters

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Arsenal supporters

London based Arsenal Football Club has developed a strong following since its founding in 1886. Arsenal's fans are often referred to as Gooners, the name derived from the team's nickname, the "Gunners."

Many fanzines, blogs, podcasts and fans websites have been dedicated to the club and the fans have long-standing rivalries with several other clubs; the most notable of these is with neighbours Tottenham Hotspur, with whom they regularly contest the North London derby.

The club and the fans have regularly featured in portrayals of football in British culture. Gunners come from far and wide, a 2005 report estimated Arsenal's global fanbase at 27 million, the third largest in the world.[1][2] A new report, from September 2011, shows that Arsenal's estimated fanbase has reached 100 million supporters worldwide; still making them the third largest team regarding supporters.[3]

In 2010, Arsenal supporters became the first fans of a Premier League club able to buy percentages of a stake in Arsenal through a "fanshare" scheme, therefore giving them rights to attend shareholders meetings.[4]

Demographics[edit]

Arsenal's home matches have resulted in Arsenal having the second-highest average League attendance for an English club in 2007–08 (60,070, which was 99.5% of available capacity),[5][unreliable source?] and as of 2006, the fourth-highest all-time average attendance.[6] Arsenal have the highest proportion (7.7%) of non-white attending supporters of any club in English football, according to a 2002 report.[7]

There are supporters' clubs worldwide. A 2005 report by Granada Ventures, which at the time owned a 9.9% stake in the club, estimated Arsenal's global fanbase at 27 million, the third largest in the world.[1]

The club's location, adjoining wealthy areas such as Canonbury and Barnsbury, mixed areas such as Islington, Holloway, Highbury, and the adjacent London Borough of Camden, and largely working-class areas such as Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington, as well as neighbouring Homerton, Clapton and Dalston has meant that Arsenal's supporters have come from across the usual class divides. Much of the Afro-Caribbean come from the neighbouring London Borough of Hackney and a large portion of the South Asian Arsenal supporters commute to the stadium from Wembley Park, North West of the capital.

Songs[edit]

In addition to the usual English football chants, Arsenal's supporters sing "One-Nil to the Arsenal" (to the tune of "Go West") and also regularly sing "Who's that team they call the Arsenal", "Good old Arsenal" (to the tune of "Rule Britannia") and "We're the North Bank/Clock End Highbury". The fans also chant "Boring, Boring Arsenal" in relation to Arsenal's sturdy defence and low-scoring wins (akin to "One-Nil to the Arsenal") that go back to the early 1970s.[8]

Rivalries[edit]

Arsenal's longest-running and deepest rivalry is with their nearest major neighbours, Tottenham Hotspur, with matches between the two being referred to as North London derbies.

Matches against other London sides, such as Chelsea and West Ham United are also derbies, but the rivalry is not as intense as that between Arsenal and Tottenham. In addition, Arsenal and Manchester United have had a strong on-pitch rivalry since the late 1980s, which has intensified in recent years when both clubs have been competing for the Premier League title.[9]

A 2003 online survey found that Arsenal supporters most dislike Tottenham Hotspur, followed by Manchester United and Chelsea, although both Chelsea and Spurs fans see Arsenal as their main rival.[10]

Traditions[edit]

St. Totteringham's Day[edit]

Saint Totteringham's Day (sometimes also known as Saint Totteridge's Day) is a concept created by Arsenal fans in the early 1990s, first published in 2002 on arseweb.com.[11][12] It is held on the day when Arsenal have gathered enough points to be mathematically assured to finish ahead of Tottenham in the league table. In 2007 the concept was first mentioned (as St. Totteridge) in a 2008 Arsenal-Aston Villa official match programme[13] although there are suggestions that it has existed since 2005.[14] St. Totteringham's day 2010 was the first time the celebration was acknowledged by mainstream media, with mentions from the BBC,[15] The Sun,[16] Daily Mail[17] and The Guardian[18] newspapers.

Season Date No. of games Host Ground
1970–71 17 April 1971 37/(42)
1971–72 8 May 1972 41/(42)
1972–73 7 April 1973 37/(42)
1973–74 11 May 1974 42/(42)
1974–75 26 April 1975 41/(42) White Hart Lane
1975–76 &
&
&
1976–77 23 April 1977 37/(42)
1977–78 &
&
&
1978–79 21 April 1979 38/(42)
1979–80 12 April 1980 36/(42)
1980–81 20 April 1981 40/(42)
1981–82 &
&
&
1982–83 &
&
&
1983–84 12 May 1984 40/(42)
1984–85 &
&
&
1985–86 29 April 1986 40/(42)
1986–87 &
&
&
1987–88 3 April 1988 33/(40)
1988–89 8 April 1989 32/(38)
1989–90 &
&
&
1990–91 3 April 1991 31/(38)
1991–92 11 April 1992 38/(42)
1992–93 &
&
&
1993–94 26 March 1994 34/(42)
1994–95 &
&
&
1995–96 5 May 1996 38/(38)
1996–97 5 April 1997 33/(38)
1997–98 28 March 1998 29/(38)
1998–99 6 April 1999 32/(38)
1999–2000 16 April 2000 32/(38)
2000–01 17 April 2001 33/(38)
2001–02 18 March 2002 30/(38)
2002–03 24 March 2003 31/(38) Reebok Stadium
2003–04 13 March 2004 28/(38) Ewood Park
2004–05 2 April 2005 31/(38) Riverside Stadium
2005–06 7 May 2006 38/(38) Highbury
2006–07 21 April 2007 35/(38) White Hart Lane
2007–08 9 March 2008 29/(38) JJB Stadium
2008–09 11 April 2009 32/(38) JJB Stadium
2009–10 9 May 2010 38/(38) Emirates Stadium
2010–11 7 May 2011 35/(38) Britannia Stadium
2011–12 13 May 2012 38/(38) The Hawthorns
2012–13 19 May 2013 38/(38) St James' Park

Police and community relations[edit]

Arsenal supporters enjoy good relations with police forces around the country and especially the Metropolitan Police.[specify] The club and authorities work closely together to police fans, with both using their available powers where necessary.[19]

However, Arsenal fans have had confrontations with the police, the most recent being over homophobic chants and materials directed at ex-Arsenal left-back Ashley Cole.[20]

Notable supporters[edit]

Below is a list of people who are known Arsenal supporters:

Royalty[edit]

Entertainment[edit]

Actors and actresses[edit]

Music[edit]

Television & radio personalities[edit]

Directors and Producers[edit]

Comedians[edit]

Writers[edit]

Athletes and sports[edit]

Other[edit]