Evian was founded under the name Football Croix-de-Savoie 74 and have since gone under two other different mergers. The original incarnation of the club was known as FC Gaillard and existed from 1924–2003. Gaillard achieved minimal honours in its life only winning the Division d'Honneur of the Rhône-Alpesregion in 1999. Evian have proved more successful ascending to the professional divisions after just three seasons. The club won the Championnat de France amateur in 2008, the Championnat National in 2010, and finally the Ligue 2 in 2011.
Evian formerly played its home matches at the Stade Joseph-Moynat in the club's hometown, but moved to the Parc des Sports in nearby Annecy for the 2010–11 season as the Joseph-Moynat did not meet the Ligue de Football Professionnel's standards. The Parc des Sports will serve as a temporary stadium for the club, while the club contemplates building a new facility or renovating the Stade Joseph-Moynat. Prior to moving to its current facility, Evian sought to play at the Stade de Genève in nearby Geneva.
The badge of Football Croix-de-Savoie 74, the original club
Evian Thonon Gaillard Football Club was formed in 2003 under the name Football Croix-de-Savoie 74 as a result of a merger between FC Gaillard and FC Ville-la-Grand. Gaillard was founded in 1924 and spent most of its life playing in the Ligue Rhône-Alpes, while Ville-la-Grand was founded in 1928. The new club finished 3rd in the Championnat de France amateur (CFA) Groupe B section for the 2003–04 season. Normally, only the top club in each of the four amateur groups are promoted to the Championnat National; however, both the 1st and 2nd placed clubs in the group were reserve sides of professional teams, namely Lyon and Metz. As such, Croix-de-Savoie was promoted. The club's first season in National saw them narrowly avoid relegation, finishing 14th out of 20, two points above relegated 17th place Besançon. The 2005–06 season was less successful; Croix-de-Savoie finished 18th with 41 points, one point behind SO Châtellerault, thus falling back to the fourth division. Croix-de-Savoie's average attendance also dropped from 933 to 716.
In 2007, the club underwent a further merger, this time with local team Olympique Thonon-Chablais; the club's name changed once again, with it becoming known as Olympique Croix-de-Savoie 74. Whilst the former club had been heavily associated with the commune of Gaillard, the new club moved to the nearby commune of Thonon-les-Bains because the stadium in Gaillard was, in August 2005, deemed unfit for use in the National division. The decision resulted in club being forced to move to Stade Joseph-Moynat in Thonon, a facility with 2,700 seats and a capacity of 6,000. The club returned to the Championnat National as the CFA Group B winners (the 108 points scored in that season are claimed as a world record by the team) for the 2008–09 season. In the summer of 2009, the president of the Groupe Danone, Franck Riboud, was made honorary president of the football club. Riboud yet again changed the name of the team to Evian Thonon Gaillard Football Club. He also put money into the team to improve the youth system of the club and harboured aspirations of the side achieving promotion to Ligue 2. On 16 April 2010, the club completed the feat in Riboud's first season presiding over the club achieving promotion to Ligue 2, for the first time, following its 1–0 victory over Amiens.
After earning promotion to Ligue 2 for the 2010–11 season, Evian were rumoured to be pursuing a move to play its home matches at the Stade de la Praille in Geneva, Switzerland after it was determined that the club's current facility, the Stade Joseph-Moynat, did not meet the Ligue de Football Professionnel's (LFP) standards. Thonon-les-Bains, the commune where the club situates itself, is a few kilometres from the Swiss border and is only 34.6 kilometres (21.5 mi), a 45-minute car drive, from the city of Geneva. It was reported that the club's president, Patrick Trotignon, had been in the process of advocating for the move since the beginning of the 2009–10 Championnat National season just in case the club had achieved promotion to the second division. The vice-president of Swiss club Servette FC, who occupy the stadium, questioned the move citing possible schedule conflicts, as well as the health of the pitch if both clubs were to use the stadium on a weekly basis. However, his claims were refuted by Benoît Genecand, who serves as president of Fondation du Stade de Genève (FSG), which owns and operates the facility. The club responded immediately to Genecand's comments via a press release posted on the club's official website. Evian petitioned to the State Council of Geneva and obtained approval from the LFP for the move in early May. On 20 May 2010, Evian received a favourable ruling from the French Football Federation (FFF) with the Federal Council voting in favour of the move. According to the federation, the move now had to be agreed upon by a UEFA executive committee, which is composed of seventeen officials. On 8 June, UEFA officially denied Evian's request to play at the Stade de la Praille meaning the club would play its home matches at the Parc des Sports in nearby Annecy.