Daejeon Citizen Football Club was first established in 1997 and entered the K League in the same year. The team have achieved some success in domestic football and hold the distinction of being the first community football club in South Korea, meaning that unlike most other teams in the country, they did not belong to a major company. Therefore, its support base was largely generated from the local community.
Although the club was not created or owned by an individual company, the board was made up of four main groups. After the IMF economic crisis hit the country in the late 1990s, three of these groups, Dong-A Construction, Chung-Cheong Bank and DongYang Department Store, were declared bankrupt. As a result, Daejeon Citizen struggled finacially during this period and had one of the worst win-loss records in the division in the seasons that followed.
Despite operating on a limited budget, the turn of the 21st century brought about the club's first major honour, as Daejeon Citizen lifted the FA Cup in 2001, beating Pohang Steelers in the final of the competition. As a result, they gained entry into the group stage of the 2002-03 AFC Champions League. Their fortunes continued to improve and in 2003, they finished the K League season in an all-time best 6th place. In 2004, they performed well in the domestic cup competitions, reaching the semi finals of the FA Cup and finishing in 2nd place in the K League Cup.
Denilson, Lee Kwan-Woo, Seo Dong-Won and Choi Eun-Sung are amongst the most notable footballers to have played for the club.
The team play home games at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium, often referred to as Purple Arena. The venue hosted three matches during the 2002 FIFA World Cup and is able to hold up to 41,295 supporters.