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Published on July 26th, 2013 | by Ian

Enfield Town take on Belgium’s first fan-owned club

Fan-owned clubs Enfield FC and YB SK Beveren will face each other in the Supporters Direct Cup on the 27th of July.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stadium will host the match which sees Beveren, formed in 2011, travel to the Ryman League Premier side’s stadium.

Enfield’s Chairman, Paul Millington, said: “It is a privilege to again be asked to stage the Supporters Direct Cup. It shows how SD and its ethos have developed that we will be playing international opposition – the first SD Euro Final!

“Congratulations to YB SK Beveren and their achievement as the first fan owned club in Belgium. We look forward to the game and supporters of all clubs will receive a warm welcome.”

The President of YB SK Beveren, André Bolsens, added: “This remarkable event shows the enthusiasm and dedication by all members of both clubs. It makes us both winners. Supporters, players and board of YB SK Beveren are grateful and honoured to meet Enfield Town FC on and off the field. Let’s play and enjoy it!”

Kevin Rye of Supporters Direct said: “We’re delighted that this fixture has been made possible by the owners of both YB SK Beveren and Enfield Town – the fans.

“We know that Beveren supporters are coming in numbers, and we’re sure that Enfield Town will reciprocate. We also know the efforts that Enfield Town have gone to in order to make them welcome surpass what we expected; they’re even making it possible to pay in Euros at the ground, which is a magnificent gesture.”

Enfield Town FC was set up following the sale of Enfield FC’s Southbury Road Stadium in 1999 and the failure of the Board of Enfield FC to secure a return to the London Borough of Enfield.

Members of the Supporters’ Trust overwhelmingly voted to set up a new club within their home borough in 2001, and secured a groundshare with Brimsdown Rovers. In 2012, the Club moved to its new home at the QEII Stadium, just a short distance from their old ground at Southbury Road.

This is the fourth time that Town have played in the competition, having lost the first ever against AFC Wimbledon (the match for which the trophy was created), shared it once, and won it outright once. It has been played for on ten occasions since 2002 – not having been competed for in 2003.

YB SK Beveren was established in 2011 as the first supporters-owned football club in Belgium, after the enforced merger of former Belgian Division One club, KSK Beveren, with Red Star Waasland.

It was also an official partner of Supporters Direct Europe for the recent 18 month-long EC Project, Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’.

The Belgian fan-owned club have just completed their second season in the Fourth Provincial League, gaining promotion in their play-off final.

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