Formed on 23rd June 2001, Enfield Town was the first wholly supporter owned and run club in the country. Assisted by Supporters Direct, the club have laid a lot of the groundwork for clubs like AFC Wimbledon and FC United as well as advising those setting up Supporters Trusts at other non league clubs.
The original Enfield FC were one of the most feared Non League teams around. They won the Conference in 1983 and 1986 as well as the Trophy in 1982 and 1988. Today they would be promoted into the Football League (in fact in 1987 they would have been promoted if the system we have today was brought in), but back in the 1980?s it was up to the League clubs to determine if a non league club could and would be voted in. Consequently, teams like Enfield, Altrincham and Wealdstone never got the chance whilst the likes of Rochdale and Torquay United propped up the rest of the Football League. The story then turn an all too predictable turn. The club was sold, ambitions were unrealistic, financial meltdown ensued. In Enfield’s case they actually split into two, with Enfield 1893 and Enfield Town going their separate ways.
Set up following the sale of Enfield FC’s Southbury Road Stadium, the Supporters Trust tried to assist the then Board in securing a return of Enfield FC to the Borough of Enfield. After failing to achieve that, the Trust voted to set up a new club within their home borough. After a lot of hard work, a place was secured in the Essex Senior League for the fledgling club, and a groundshare agreement was made with Brimsdown Rovers for the use of their Goldsdown Road ground. Following a good deal of work, the ground met the standard for the Ryman League and this led to the successful promotion, at that time into the Southern League.
Possibly the most iconic Non League stadium, the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium.
The 2011-12 season proved to be an important one for the club. Having celebrated it’s 10th birthday over the summer, Enfield Town completed the move to its new home at the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium in Enfield. A long held dream, the club worked closely with Enfield Council to see the old athletics stadium restored and upgraded to be able to host Ryman League football. This has finally provided the club with a home of its own a short distance from the former stadium in Southbury Road, and also achieving promotion to the Ryman Premier League. Having taken the battle for the title to the last day, they needed to win, which they did, while hoping Leiston drew or lost, but when Leiston won, the only route to promotion was via the Play-offs, which they won, beating Grays Athletic in the Semi and Needham Market in the final.
In 2012-13, the club was promoted again, to play in the Blue Square North for the 2013-14 season. But despite this success, manager Steve Newing decided to quit while he was ahead, believing that the successive promotions left the club with insufficient ability and structure to stay up, let alone be competitive.
Newing's replacement has proved controversial. Unconfirmed rumours circulating on the terraces and on social media sites suggest that David Odumosu was hired because of a conversation between chairman Josh Palmer and himself back in 2001 while celebrating the formation of the club. The conversation is believed to have been along the lines of (at the time) 14 year old David's joke offer to manage the newly formed side based on his lower-league success on the popular manager simulation Championship Manager, while the chairman is believed to have retorted, 'should the club ever find themselves managerless and you've actually grown some bollocks, apply and it will be given serious consideration'. Whether Mr Palmer expected the club to even exist in 12 years' time, or he was just joking, no one knows. But if anything, he is a man of his word, because a 26 year old David did apply in 2013, and the application was given serious consideration. Serious enough consideration that he finds himself manager of Enfield Town FC today!
The appointment induced despair amongst the players, with many threatening to leave. It seems David may have bitten off far more than he could ever hope to chew...