2003-2004 c d
2004-2006 a d
2006-2007 b d
2007-2008 b d
2010-Nov 2011 e
Nov 2011-2012 f
2012-March 2013 b
23 March-May 13 f
August 2013 g
Sept 2013-2014 b g
2014-Sept 2015 b
Oct 15-Aug 16 b
Sept-Dec 2016 b
Dec 2016-2017 b
Aug-Oct 2022 b
Oct 22-2023 b
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 of 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 announced in May that the club would adopt the title Airdrieonians from 1 June and reinstate the crest of the original club.
In April 2015 Airdrieonians found themselves in trouble with the Court of the Lord Lyon, an archaic institution that oversees heraldic law in Scotland. According to a statute dating from the 16th century, Airdrieonians' crest was illegal because it has letters across the shield. Penalties faced by the club included fines, forfeiture of the offending arms and even the issuing of letters of horning. The club was forced to redesign its crest by removing the shield device.
In December 2016 the Airdrieonians Supporters' Trust secured sponsorship of the team's first shirt to raise funds for causes supported by Mark Allison, a lifelong fan who raised over £70,000 before succumbing to cancer. The club generally sell around 100 replica shirts each season but their stock was immediately sold out.
In June 2015 Jim Ballantyne sold his controlling interest in the club to Lanarkshire businessman Tom Wotherspoon but remained as vice-chairman. In June 2017 Wotherspoon resigned (retaining his controlling shares) and Ballantyne took over as Chairman once again. After several tumultuous seasons a consortium of local businessmen took control of Wotherspoon's shares and removed most of the old board, including Ballantyne in January 2018. Performances on the pitch improved: they finished third in 2020 but missed out on the play-offs when these were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The following year they finished second but lost to Morton in the two-legged play-off final. In 2022 they again finished as runners-up and lost in the play-offs.
The disruption caused by Covid-19 and the invasion of Ukraine led to global supply-chain problems which delayed delivery of new team strips. In Airdrie's case, this meant they had to start the season wearing striped shirts because their bespoke diamond shirts were not ready.