Ebbsfleet United F.C.

Ebbsfleet United Football Club are an English professional football club based in Northfleet, Kent, that compete in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football. Their home ground has been Stonebridge Road since its inception in 1946. Before 2007, the club was called Gravesend & Northfleet.[1] Between 2008 and 2013, the club was owned by the web-based venture MyFootballClub, whose members voted on player transfers, budgets and ticket prices among other things instead of those decisions being made exclusively by the club's management and staff as at most other clubs.[2]

Ebbsfleet United
Gravesend and Northfleet F.C. logo
Full nameEbbsfleet United Football Club
Nickname(s)The Fleet, The Reds
Founded1946; 75 years ago (1946)
(as Gravesend & Northfleet)
GroundStonebridge Road, Northfleet
Capacity4,769 (2,179 seats)
OwnerKEH Sports Ltd
ChairmanDr Abdulla Al-Humaidi
ManagerDennis Kutrieb
LeagueNational League South
2020–21National League South (season curtailed)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

HistoryEdit

Gravesend & NorthfleetEdit

Gravesend & Northfleet F.C. was formed in 1946, following the Second World War, after a merger between Gravesend United (originally formed in 1893) and Northfleet United (originally formed in 1890) with the new club retaining the red & white home colours (and the Stonebridge Road stadium) of Northfleet United.[3] From 1969 and 1971, Roy Hodgson, who later became manager of the national teams of Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Finland and England, was a player at the club, making 59 appearances.[4] In 1979, the team was one of the founder members of the Alliance Premier League,[5] but were relegated back into the Southern League Premier Division three seasons later.[6]

For the 1997–98 season, Gravesend & Northfleet left the Southern League and joined the Isthmian League. They played in the Premier Division of the league until the 2001–02 season, when they finished as champions and earned promotion back into the Football Conference.

 
Ebbsfleet United v. Stafford Rangers at Stonebridge Road, November 2007

MyFootballClub takeoverEdit

On 13 November 2007, it was announced that the website MyFootballClub had entered a deal in principle to take over the club.[7] Approximately 27,000 MyFootballClub members each paid £35 to provide an approximate £700,000 takeover fund and all owned an equal share in the club but made no profit nor received a dividend. Members had a vote on transfers as well as player selection and all major decisions. Because of the nature of MyFootballClub, it was announced that manager Liam Daish would become instead the first team head coach. His backroom staff would remain at the club.[7]

Between 16 and 23 January 2008, MyFootballClub members were given the choice to vote on whether to proceed with the takeover and whether to allow Liam Daish to continue with his plans for the January transfer window. Both resulted in overwhelming "Yes" votes: 95.89% voted to proceed with the takeover while 95.86% voted to allow Liam Daish to continue his transfer plans. The deal was ratified at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the club's board on 19 February.

On 10 May 2008, Ebbsfleet United won the FA Trophy, defeating Torquay United 1–0 in the final in front of 40,000 fans on the club's first trip to Wembley ,becoming the first Kentish team to win this trophy.[8] Ebbsfleet United went on to win the Kent Senior Cup in the same season, with a 4–0 victory over Cray Wanderers on 26 July 2008.

After one year of ownership a majority of MyFC members failed to renew, with membership numbers dropping from a peak of 32,000 at the time of the takeover to just over 9,000 on deadline day 2009. The club had previously stated that 15,000 was the minimum required.[9] As of September 2010, two and a half years after the takeover, there were around 3,500 members.[10]

The club remained in the Football Conference until being relegated to the Conference South at the end of the 2009–10 season. On 28 September veteran Jimmy Jackson played his 500th game for the club.[citation needed]

In an October 2010 vote among MyFC members, the earlier decision to allow the team manager autonomy in transfer dealings was rescinded by a majority of 35 on a total vote of 132, meaning that the membership would have 48 hours to endorse a proposed signing or sale before it can be finalised. Both the manager and the club secretary opposed the change.[11]

On 15 May 2011, Ebbsfleet United won the Conference South play-off final 4–2 against Farnborough and were thus promoted back to the Conference Premier at the first time of asking,[12]

On 23 December 2011, it was announced that the club needed to raise £50,000 by the end of the 2011–12 season or risk going out of business.[13]

On 23 April 2013 it was announced that MyFC's members had voted in favour of handing two-thirds of MyFC's shares to the Fleet Trust, a supporters' trust for the club, and the final one third to one of the club's major shareholders (believed to be former club chairman Brian Killcullen).[14] Ebbsfleet United were relegated to the Conference South at the end of that season.

Kuwaiti ownershipEdit

KEH Sports Ltd, a group of Kuwaiti investors advised by a former chief executive of Charlton Athletic, agreed in May 2013 to take over the club, settling its debts (some at 10% of their value), promising investment in the squad and in a training facility.[15] Liam Daish subsequently departed as manager and the new ownership appointed Dover Athletic coach and former Charlton Athletic defender Steve Brown as the new manager.

Steve Brown's first competitive game was a goalless draw at home to Havant & Waterlooville. A club record was broken just before Christmas as Brown's team achieved nine wins in succession. A 2–0 win over Sutton United, with both goals coming from Billy Bricknell, broke the long-standing record which subsequently put them amongst the title contenders but poor runs of form were to follow. Ebbsfleet eventually reached the playoffs, helped by goalkeeper Preston Edwards keeping eleven clean sheets at Stonebridge Road over the course of the season. The playoff semi-final first leg against Bromley at Stonebridge Road ended in a 4–0 win for the Fleet. Despite Bromley winning the second leg, Brown's side won 4–1 on aggregate. The playoff final was against Dover Athletic at Stonebridge Road in front of a 4,200 crowd. Dover dominated the encounter, winning 1–0 with a goal early in the second half from former Ebbsfleet striker Nathan Elder.

The 2014–15 season started with much promise, with wins against Concord Rangers & Havant & Waterlooville. However, the season failed to live up to expectations and Steve Brown was relieved of his duties the day after a 3–0 home defeat to Gosport Borough in November 2014. Jamie Day replaced Brown and, despite taking the club to the FA Trophy quarter-finals, where they lost to eventual winners North Ferriby United, he was relieved of his duties in April 2015. In the summer of 2015, former club captain Daryl McMahon was named as permanent manager. Matty Godden finished as the Fleet's top scorer for the 2014–15 season with 12 goals in all competitions.

The 2015–16 season was far more fruitful for the Fleet, as they led the league for almost the whole season, with results including a 6–0 win at home to Hemel Hempstead Town and a 5–0 win away to Hayes & Yeading United. However, title rivals Sutton United went on a 26-game unbeaten run and clinched the league title by beating the Fleet 2–0 at Gander Green Lane. In the play-off semi-finals the Fleet edged past Whitehawk via a penalty shootout after a 3–3 draw on aggregate but lost on penalties in the final to rivals Maidstone United.

In the 2016–17 season Ebbsfleet again missed out on first place, this time to National League South champions Maidenhead United. Yet gained promotion to the National League with a 2–1 win at Stonebridge Road in the play-off final over Chelmsford City. The following season the team achieved their highest ever league finish of 6th, beating Aldershot Town in the play-off qualifying round 5–4 on penalties. A heavy 4–2 defeat in the next round to league runners up Tranmere Rovers consigned Ebbsfleet to another season in the National League.

In October 2017, Stonebridge Road also became known as Kuflink Stadium as part of a five-year sponsorship deal.[16]

The 2018-19 campaign did not reach the heights of the previous campaign with Daryl McMahon leaving the club in November following a 1–0 win over Barrow. Former Woking manager Garry Hill was appointed manager of the club, his first game in the dugout being a goalless draw against Cheltenham Town in the FA Cup. Despite an initial renaissance, the Fleet missed out on the playoffs following a winless April.

The 2019–20 season started with the Fleet losing all of their first five matches. In October 2019, Garry Hill left the club after just two wins in the opening 16 games of the season. Assistant Kevin Watson was appointed to the role on an interim basis before signing a seven-month contract to the end of the season.

In February 2020 the ownership, KEH sports, appointed Damian Irvine to lead the club and oversee the day-to-day operations and all football matters

It was announced on 18 May 2020 that Kevin Watson's short-term contract as Manager would not be renewed and he would leave the club.[17] The 2019–20 season was cancelled in March due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic with Ebbsfleet in the relegation places.

Ebbsfleet United were controversially relegated by 0.002 points after the league was determined on a points per game basis, despite being out of the relegation zone and in the top 3 form sides of the league when the competition ended.

On 2 June 2020, highly rated young German manager Dennis Kutrieb was appointed manager having declined to renew his contract at Tennis Borussia Berlin despite being on top of the table when the season was cancelled.[18] On 17 June 2020 Ebbsfleet were confirmed among the list of clubs relegated from the National League on a weighted points per game basis.[19]

ColoursEdit

Ebbsfleet's traditional home colours are red shirt with white detailing, white shorts and red socks. Away colours have varied, with blue and white stripes favoured in the late eighties before colour combinations such as white/black and yellow/navy or black were used. MyFC members chose white with red detailing as the away colour in 2008–09, but a clash with the home colours of Woking and other clubs was not spotted until after the kit had been supplied, so a third shirt with green body and white sleeves was used with the white shorts and socks. For the 2010–11 season, members made the unusual choice of purple for the away kit.

SeasonsEdit

Season[20] League P W D L F A Pts GD Pos P/R FA Cup FA Trophy Kent Senior Cup Notes
1946–47 5 South 32 17 4 11 82 58 38 24 6/17 1R First season after GUFC and NUFC merged
1947–48 5 South 34 11 6 17 52 81 28 −29 13/18 2Q RU
1948–49 5 South 42 20 9 13 60 46 49 14 7/22 3Q Winner
1949–50 5 South 46 16 9 21 88 81 41 7 15/24 1R
1950–51 5 South 44 12 14 18 65 83 38 −18 18/23 1Q
1951–52 5 South 42 12 7 23 68 88 31 −20 21/22 1Q
1952–53 5 South 42 19 7 16 83 76 45 7 9/22 4Q Winner
1953–54 5 South 42 16 8 18 76 77 40 −1 15/22 Pre
1954–55 5 South 42 9 9 24 62 98 27 −36 22/22 1Q
1955–56 5 South 42 17 8 17 79 75 42 4 12/22 1Q
1956–57 5 South 42 21 11 10 74 58 53 16 5/22 2Q
1957–58 5 South 42 27 5 10 109 71 59 38 1/22 4Q Southern League champions
1958–59 5 South-SE 32 21 2 9 79 54 44 25 2/17 4Q
1959–60 5 South-P 42 14 8 20 71 87 36 −16 17/22 4Q
1960–61 5 South-P 42 15 7 20 75 101 37 −26 18/22 1Q
1961–62 5 South-P 42 17 4 21 59 92 38 −33 14/22 1Q
1962–63 5 South-P 40 10 3 27 62 91 23 −29 20/21 R 4R Best FA Cup run
1963–64 6 South-1 42 7 9 26 43 96 23 −53 20/22 2R
1964–65 6 South-1 42 9 7 26 57 101 25 −44 21/22 1R
1965–66 6 South-1 46 16 9 21 84 86 41 −2 17/24 1R
1966–67 6 South-1 46 11 9 26 63 106 31 −43 21/24 4Q
1967–68 6 South-1 42 6 7 29 28 112 19 −84 22/22 1Q
1968–69 6 South-1 42 8 9 25 51 79 25 −28 21/22 1Q
1969–70 6 South-1 42 13 11 18 62 71 37 −9 16/22 1Q 2R
1970–71 6 South-1 38 19 10 9 74 42 48 32 3/20 P 2Q 3Q
1971–72 5 South-P 42 5 6 31 30 110 16 −80 22/22 R 1Q 3Q
1972–73 6 South-1S 42 22 7 13 81 55 51 26 6/22 1Q 1R
1973–74 6 South-1S 38 13 13 12 58 52 39 6 10/20 2Q 3Q
1974–75 6 South-1S 38 24 12 2 70 30 60 40 1/20 P 1Q 3Q Southern League First Division South Champions
1975–76 5 South-P 42 16 18 8 49 47 50 2 6/22 1Q 3Q
1976–77 5 South-P 42 13 13 16 38 43 39 −5 11/22 1Q 1Q RU
1977–78 5 South-P 42 19 11 12 57 42 49 15 5/22 2Q 2R
1978–79 5 South-P 42 15 12 15 56 55 42 1 12/22 1R 3Q
1979–80 5 APL 38 17 10 11 49 44 44 5 5/20 1R 2Q Alliance Premier League founder club. Highest ranked position in English league system (97th)
1980–81 5 APL 38 13 8 17 48 55 34 −7 15/20 1R 1R Winner
1981–82 5 APL 42 10 10 22 51 69 40 −18 20/22 R 4Q 3Q
1982–83 6 South-P 38 14 12 12 49 50 54 −1 10/20 4Q 3Q
1983–84 6 South-P 38 18 9 11 50 38 63 12 4/20 3Q 2Q
1984–85 6 South-P 38 12 12 14 46 46 48 0 13/20 2Q 3Q
1985–86 6 South-P 38 9 9 20 29 55 36 −26 20/20 R 3Q 1Q
1986–87 7 South-S 38 18 7 13 67 46 61 21 6/20 1Q 1Q Lowest ranked position in English league system (142nd)
1987–88 7 South-S 40 20 12 8 60 32 72 28 4/21 3Q 2Q
1988–89 7 South-S 42 27 6 9 70 40 87 30 2/22 P 1Q 3R
1989–90 6 South-P 42 18 12 12 44 50 66 −6 7/22 3Q 1R
1990–91 6 South-P 42 9 7 26 46 91 34 −45 21/22 1Q 1R RU
1991–92 6 South-P 42 8 9 25 39 87 33 −48 22/22 R 4Q 3Q
1992–93 7 South-S 42 25 4 13 99 63 79 36 4/22 1Q 2Q
1993–94 7 South-S 42 27 11 4 87 24 92 63 1/22 P 1R 2Q Southern League Southern Division champions.
1994–95 6 South-P 42 13 13 16 38 55 52 −17 14/22 3Q 2Q
1995–96 6 South-P 42 15 10 17 60 62 55 −2 11/22 3R 2Q
1996–97 6 South-P 42 16 7 19 63 73 55 −10 14/22 1Q 1Q
1997–98 6 Isth-P 42 15 8 19 65 67 53 −2 13/22 1Q 2Q Switched to Isthmian League
1998–99 6 Isth-P 42 18 6 18 54 53 60 1 10/22 3Q 2R
1999-00 6 Isth-P 42 15 10 17 66 67 55 −1 11/22 2Q 3R Winner
2000–01 6 Isth-P 42 22 5 15 63 46 71 17 6/22 1R 1R Winner
2001–02 6 Isth-P 42 31 6 5 90 33 99 57 1/22 P 1R 5R Winner Isthmian League Premier Division champions
2002–03 5 Conf 42 12 12 18 62 73 48 −11 17/22 4Q 3R
2003–04 5 Conf 42 14 15 13 69 66 57 3 11/22 2R 3R
2004–05 5 Conf-Nat 42 13 11 18 58 64 50 −6 14/22 4Q QF
2005–06 5 Conf-Nat 42 13 10 19 45 57 49 −12 16/22 4Q 2R RU
2006–07 5 Conf-Nat 46 21 11 14 63 56 74 7 7/24 4Q QF
2007–08 5 Conf-Nat 46 19 12 15 65 61 69 4 11/24 4Q Champion Winner Renamed as Ebbsfleet United
2008–09 5 Conf-Nat 46 16 10 20 52 60 58 −8 14/24 1R SF MyFootballClub takeover
2009–10 5 Conf-Nat 44 12 8 24 50 82 44 −32 22/23 R 4Q 1R
2010–11 6 Conf-Sth 42 22 12 8 75 51 78 24 3/22 P 1R 2R Promoted via play-offs
2011–12 5 Conf-Nat 46 14 12 20 69 84 54 −15 14/24 4Q 3R
2012–13 5 Conf-Nat 46 8 15 23 55 89 39 −34 23/24 R 1R 1R
2013–14 6 Conf-Sth 42 21 11 10 67 40 74 27 4/22 4Q 3R Winner Lost promotion final
2014–15 6 Conf-Sth 40 17 9 14 60 41 60 19 8/22 3Q QF 2R
2015–16 6 Conf-Sth 42 24 12 6 60 41 73 36 2/22 2Q 1R SF Lost promotion final
2016–17 6 Conf-Sth 42 29 9 4 96 30 96 66 2/22 P 4Q 2R 2R Won promotion final
2017-18 5 Nat-L 46 19 17 10 64 50 74 14 6/24 1R 2R 2R Playoffs
2018-19 5 Nat-L 46 18 13 15 64 50 67 14 8/24 1R 1R QF
2019-20 5 Nat-L 39 10 12 17 47 68 42 -21 22/24 R 1R 3R 2R Finished 21st, relegated in 22nd place on points per game
2020-21 6 Nat-L Sth 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11/21 TBC TBC TBC

HonoursEdit

 
Part of the crowd at Wembley for the 2007–08 FA Trophy Final in May 2008

Club personnelEdit

Club officialsEdit

Position Staff
Chairman   Abdulla Al-Humaidi
Directors   Dherar Al Humaidi
Associate Directors   John Copus
  Sue Copus
Chief Executive   Damian Irvine
Finance Manager   Ryan Robinson
Communications Manager   Ed Miller

Source: Ebbsfleet United F.C.

Management teamEdit

Position Staff
Manager   Dennis Kutrieb
First-team Coach   Christopher Franks
Chief Executive   Damian Irvine

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 5 July 2021[21]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 DF   ENG Tobi Adebayo-Rowling
4 DF    Sefa Kahraman
7 MF   ENG Adam Mekki
9 FW   ENG Rakish Bingham
10 MF   ENG Michael West
11 MF   ENG Lee Martin
12 GK   AUS Jordan Holmes
13 GK    Harrison Firth
16 DF   ENG Will Wood
18 MF   ENG Alfie Egan
21 MF    Jack Paxman
No. Pos. Nation Player
22 MF   ENG Ben Chapman
24 DF   ENG Chris Solly
26 FW   ENG Dominic Poleon
GK    Chris Haigh
DF   POR Sido Jombati
DF   ENG Joe Martin
MF   KVX Kreshnic Krasniqi
MF   LCA Kieran Monlouis
MF   ENG Christian N'Guessan
FW    Elliott Romain
FW   ENG Craig Tanner

Notable former playersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hudd, Tony. "Shock as Fleet change their name". Kent Online. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  2. ^ "Fans website approve 'Fleet deal". BBC Sport. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  3. ^ Miller, Ed. "Official Website – before 1945". Ebbsfleet United F.C. Official Website. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Congratulations Roy! Former Fleet player becomes England manager – Ebbsfleet United Football Club : Official Website". Ebbsfleetunited.co.uk. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  5. ^ Rundle, Richard. "1979–1980 Alliance Premier League". Football Club History Database. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  6. ^ Rundle, Richard. "1982–1983 Alliance Premier League". Football Club History Database. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  7. ^ a b Perry, Alex; Sinnott, John (13 November 2007). "Website agrees Ebbsfleet takeover". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  8. ^ Howard, Tom (10 May 2008). "Ebbsfleet make FA Trophy history". kentnews.co.uk. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2008.
  9. ^ Andrews, Gary "Ebssfleet and MyFC vote to stay alive" Soccerlens.com. Retrieved 11 March 2010
  10. ^ "What happened to MyFootballClub and Ebbsfleet United?" BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 September 2010
  11. ^ "Liam Daish's transfer dealings hang in the balance: KentishFootball.co.uk". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Ebbsfleet United delighted to bounce straight back up" BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 May 2011
  13. ^ "Ebbsfleet United need £50,000 to survive". BBC Sport. 27 December 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  14. ^ "Ebbsfleet United: MyFootballClub votes to offer shareholding" BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 April 2013
  15. ^ Tervet, Steve (13 May 2013). "MyFootballClub members have accepted the offer from Kuwaiti investment group KEH Sports Ltd for the purchase of Ebbsfleet United". Kentonline.co.uk. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  16. ^ Ed McConnell. "Ebbsfleet United to rename Stonebridge Road ground Kuflink Stadium". Kent Online.
  17. ^ "Club statement: Kevin Watson". Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Fleet land promising German manager". Kent Online. 2 June 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  19. ^ "National League Statement | Ordinary Resolution Supported By Clubs". www.thenationalleague.org.uk. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  20. ^ "Football Club History Database - Ebbsfleet United". www.fchd.info. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  21. ^ "Squad". Ebbsfleet United Official Site. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°26′58″N 0°19′21″E / 51.44943°N 0.322369°E / 51.44943; 0.322369