THE PREMIER LEAGUE OF WEB SITES

Arsenal

http://www-ipg.umds.ac.uk/rw/arsenal.html

No official site yet, but supporters more than make up for it with this lively site. They had news of Bruce Rioch's departure online within hours of the story breaking. Also has information on Gunners fixtures, results and tickets.

Aston Villa

http://www.gbar.dtu.dk/c937079/AVFC

Newly updated with news and results, mailing lists, humour pages and opinion forums. But you will need frames-supporting browsers and Java to get the best of it.

Blackburn Rovers

http://www.newsquest.co.uk/brfc/

Rovers, it seems, can't be bothered with providing an information service for fans - they just want your money. They have set up a big merchandising- only site, offering such delights as Rovers babywear and ties. Fortunately, there is an escape from such tack, at the busy Worldwide Rovers Supporters Page. (http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/4664/)

Chelsea

http://www.jack.dircon.net/chelsea/

This is not the only unofficial Chelsea site (no official site), but it is by far and away the coolest. On top of the smart design, there is a humour section and full results service and ticket details.

Coventry City

http://www.warwick.ac.uk/cudbu/SkyBlues.html

"The Home Page of Big Fat Ron's Sky Blue Army", proclaims this site. But its creator is on holiday and the pages badly need updating for the new season.

Derby County

http://lard.sel.cam.ac.uk/derby_county/

Newcomers to the Premier League, but not to the Web. This is a well-established site. It's unofficial but provides full fixture and ticket details and it's easy to get around.

Everton

http://www.connect.org.uk/everton

Oh dear. Fans will be hoping this is not a pointer for the season ahead because Everton have closed this official site "due to resource problems". But the club still felt able to leave a link to a merchandising service on what is now a ghost site. Brass cheek!

Leeds United

http://www.csc.liv.ac.uk/users/tim/Leeds/

These unofficial pages have the air of a building site about them, with lots of non-functioning links. But it all looks very promising, and the creator hopes to have everything up and running soon.

Leicester City

http://www.atlas.co.uk/pablo/LCFC/

Another new arrival in the Premier League, although the supporters' Web site is not sure how long it will last. If you are a Leicester City fan, you can offer your opinion on this and other key questions in the "You the Jury" section. Still no official site, but this is the best of the various unofficial set-ups.

Liverpool

http://www.fa-premier.com/club/lfc/

This is designated as Liverpool's official home page, but it is a bit of a Kop-out, really, because it looks just like all the other club pages on the FA Premiership server. Much more fun is the Mighty Reds unofficial site (http://www.connect.org.uk/anfield/).

Manchester United

http://www.sky.co.uk/sports/manu/

They don't come bigger or brasher - or slower - than Man U's official site. Gushing profiles of Alex Ferguson, sounds from last season's double, archive video clips - browsing through is like witnessing a military procession. If you get bored of all this self-congratulation, Soccernet lists another 11 unofficial sites. Pity that this official site is too mean to provide links to them.

Middlesbrough

http://www.hk.super.net/tlloyd/personal/boro.html

Only on the Internet is this kind of set-up possible. This Middlesbrough supporters site is produced in Hong Kong, although the author is currently in the UK. You'll have to wait until the end of August for updates, but it has an online fanzine, news and fixture details. Or else just check the original unofficial Boro site (www.dur.ac.uk/d3fher/boro/boindex.html).

Newcastle United

http://www.newcastle-utd.co.uk/nufc

No mention whatsoever on Newcastle United's good-looking official site of the Charity Shield match against Manchester United. Just a big, flashing news report on that pounds 15m signing. And a very prominent merchandising sign - they 've got to find the money from somewhere. Talking of Toon matters, take a look at the unofficial supporters' site (http://www.ccacyber. com/nufc). Apparently, its days are numbered unless it can find new support.

Nottingham Forest

http://www.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk/ccznffc/NFFC.html

No sign yet of an official Notts Forest Web presence, but this unofficial supporters' site has some good features, including a selection of terrace songs and book listings, videos and pictures.

Sheffield Wednesday

www.crg.cs.nott.ac.uk/Users/anb/Football/index.html

One of the first clubs on the Web. This unofficial Owls site includes fixture lists, match reports and a complete statistical archive dating from 1880 to present. The Barmy Army On-line (http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/2938/) is another unofficial site for supporters to unload their gripes in the discussion forums. Nothing fancy, just an easy-to-use information service.

Southampton

http://www.soton.ac.uk/saints/

"The only Premiership club in the South of England," boasts the home page of Southampton's official Web site. Not the only site to offer news, team details, results and fixtures, though. But it does have a good collection of MPEG movie clips.

Sunderland

http://www.sunderland-afc.com/

Sunderland are entitled to feel a little bit smug that their official site was in existence before their promotion to the new Premier League. Unfortunately, there is not much to get excited about. Just the usual fanzine, results and statistics.

Tottenham Hotspur

http://www.sys.uea.ac.uk/recreation/sport/thfc/thfc.html

The Spurs supporters behind this site are clearly obsessed. Not only have they provided a huge array of results and information services, but they have even posted a report on "the laying of the undersoil heating system" at White Hart Lane. They were there and they want you to know.

West Ham United

http://mickey.iafrica.com/paulw/westham.html

Don't be put off by the weird address. This is a great site, packed with news, results, gossip and gripes about the Hammers. As well as book lists and mailing lists, this unofficial site also runs monthly quizzes. Also have a look at this unlikely sounding West Ham site (http://www.dungeon.com/ express/ whu.html).

Wimbledon

http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/students/A.Stubbs/wfcgraph.html

Wimbledon supporters always seem to be moaning about double standards in the way that their team is treated by referees and other elements of football officialdom. And this kind of aggrieved, paranoid mentality has seeped through into this supporters' site, with lots of spiky, cynical comments. There is a big jokes section, as well as all the standard results and fixtures information.

ANDREW NORTH

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