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 September 2011 report estimated Arsenal's fanbase at 100 million worldwide; still making them the third-largest team in terms of supporters.[3]

However the club is also noted for the long-standing vitriolic criticism of the team by some of its own supporters, a group who since around 2010 have been named The Anti-Arsenal Arsenal. Although the contemporary version of this group focuses its antipathy on the manager Arsène Wenger, earlier reports note antagonism towards the title winning team of 1953, and even Arsenal team of the 1930s, with Herbert Chapman complaining of the activities of the "boo-boys". More recent research has traced the tendency of some Arsenal fans to criticise the team back to the 19th century.[4]

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.[5]

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),[6][unreliable source?] and as of 2006, the fourth-highest all-time average attendance.[7] Arsenal have the highest proportion (7.7%) of non-white attending supporters of any club in English football, according to a 2002 report.[8]

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 support comes 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.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

Traditions[edit]

St. Totteringham's Day[edit]

Saint Totteringham's Day is a concept created in 2002 and first published on arseweb.com.[12][13] 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 (mistakenly as St. Totteridge) in a 2008 Arsenal-Aston Villa official match programme[14] although there are suggestions that it has existed since 2005.[15] St. Totteringham's day 2010 was the first time the celebration was acknowledged by mainstream media, with mentions from the BBC,[16] The Sun,[17] Daily Mail[18] and The Guardian[19] newspapers.

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.[20]

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.[21]

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]

Footballers[edit]

American Football Players[edit]

Basketball Players[edit]

Boxers[edit]

Cricketers[edit]

Golfers[edit]

Horse Racing Jockeys[edit]

Ice Hockey Players[edit]

Racing Drivers[edit]

Track and Field Athletes[edit]

Other Sport Players[edit]

Other Sporting Figures[edit]

Politicians[edit]

Academics[edit]

Economists[edit]

Other Academics[edit]

Other Individuals[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]