Replaced Clydebank in Scottish Division Two 2002
2003-2004 c d
2004-2006 a d
2006-2007 b d
2007-2008 b d
2010-Nov 2011 e
Nov 2011-2012 f
The admittance of Airdrie United to the Scottish League was an episode that generated considerable controversy and acrimony. In May 2002 Airdrieonians (formed 1878) became bankrupt with debts of £3 million despite having finished as runners up in Scottish Division One and resigned from the SFL. This left a vacancy in Division Three which was filled by Gretna who were preferred to the newly created Airdrie United, formed by a local consortium led by Jim Ballantyne. It appeared that the town of Airdrie would be without a senior side until Ballantyne completed a buy-out of Clydebank FC, who were homeless, in administration and in urgent need of a buyer. With the approval of the Scottish Football League the Clydeside club relocated to Airdrie and became Airdrie United, taking over Clydebank's place in Division Two. Thus league football was preserved in the town but only at the expense of another club, an event without precedent in the UK.
The new team inherited Airdrieonians distinctive playing strip and moved into the New Broomfield stadium (officially the Excelsior Stadium), the cost of which had contributed to the collapse of the Airdrieonians club. The name of Clydebank was ceded to the United Clydebank Supporters (UCS) who formed a new club who would play at junior level. A new crest was designed that incorporated a double-headed eagle, the old symbol of the town of Airdrie and which is carved into the wall local council offices.
In 2003-04 United reached the final of the Bell's Scottish Cup and won their divisional championship to earn a place in Scottish Division One.
In 2007 Airdrie were relegated after defeat in the play-offs. The following season they were beaten in the Second Division promotion play-off final but then were awarded a place in Division One after Gretna closed down. After one season they were beaten in the relegation play-off final by Ayr United who took their place in the First Division but were then reprieved when Livingston were demoted to the Third Division. In 2010 they once again had to contest the relegation play-offs and this time their luck deserted them and they went down to Division Two.
In 2012, having lost in the play-off final, Airdrie once again benefitted from the misfortunes of another club. In this instance, it was Rangers' admission to the Third Division that brought another reshuffle and Airdrie (they dropped "United" over the summer) were back in the First Division. The strip worn for the new season was inspired by one worn by Airdrieonians in the early 1990s when the club enjoyed some brief success and qualified for Europe.
Having been reprieved from relegation three times there was no such let-off in 2012-13 when they dropped into the third tier. It was anounced in May that the club would adopt the title Airdrieonians from 1 June and reinstate the crest of the original club.