Webwatch

Ian Plenderleith discovers a Swede with an addiction to Slough Town, what Colin Addison's main failing as a manager was, and where the Jail End can be found

How far would you travel to watch Slough Town? It’s one of those questions consistently posed in philosophical and political de­bating salons across the nation. In the case of Mats Tallqvist, leader of the Slough fan group the Swedish Rebels, the answer is “all the way from Halmstad”, and with great regularity, jud­ging by the diary accounts on his Unofficial Slough Town Web Page.

Ian Plenderleith burrows through the heaving mass of World Cup sites to discover the debut official song and the meaning of Korea's "intangible cultural assets"

Predictably enough, there has been a huge amount of cyberspace set aside for online coverage of the coming World Cup. The following is an attempt to help you focus on the least drivel-ridden websites.

Ian Plenderleith goes looking for football advice on the web and comes up with something technical, something feminine and something simply divine

We’ve all played in teams where the performances of our team-mates have failed to live up to expectations. But at an amateur level it can be problematic to explain to the enthusiastic left-back that his headless chicken forward runs are not only failing to create anything up front, but are leaving a huge hole at the back too. After all, the left-back might be your mate and, even worse, if he doesn’t turn up next week because he felt all insulted, then that gap at the back might be even wider.

Ian Plenderleith explores the murkier corners of the footballing web to discover Lincolnshire murder mysteries, Highland League replica kits and some straight shooting advice for referees

It’s midday at Sincil Bank on the opening day of the 1955-56 season. Lincoln City are away at Blackburn, so the ground is deserted. Ex­cept, that is, for a dead body lying in the middle of the pitch.

Ian Plenderleith looks into the legal jusitfication for the Premier League and Football League's copyrighting of their fixtures

Remember the outcry when the Football Lea­gue and the Premier League began charging websites for publishing their fixture lists? How could the leagues possibly hold the copy­right over an item of public information such as a football fixture, many wondered. Al­though the furore has subsided, the ques­tion has never been satisfactorily answered. Mean­while, the leagues, under their joint venture Football Dataco, have been making money for nothing.

Ian Plenderleith reports on the unexpected legal fallout from Notts County's first round FA Cup match against Cambridge

The webmaster of a small, non-profit making Notts County website was surprised to receive a ro­bust letter from the Football Association re­cently. His crime was to feature a video high­lights clip from the FA Cup first round match against Cambridge United. The FA were not happy at all.

It's the season of goodwill and all that kind of cobblers, so Ian Plenderleith finds some reasons to be cheerful on the internet

In the spirit of transient positivity that is un­ique to either the start of the new football sea­son or the beginning of a fresh year, WSC hereby presents its Web Awards for the best five independent club-based fan sites, and for the best five general sites. The judge has scrup­ulously retained his penchant for wang-eyed subjectivity and has failed to cast off irrational prejudices, but would like to emphasise that or­iginality, wit and the quality of writing play­ed a considerable part in his selection of the following webzines, which appear in no par­ticular order.

Suddenly, all official club websites look alike. It's another triumph for commerce over diversity and independance, says Jan Lotze

In a move which proves that the desire for money will always overrule quality, all 72 Nat­ionwide League clubs, and a handful in the Premiership, have effectively handed over control of their official web­sites to Prem­ium TV, a subsidiary of the broadcaster NTL. Lured by an initial six-figure fee, and with the pro­mise of further revenue dependent on traffic and the number of “referrals” to an on­line bet­ting shop, clubs have opted to buy and oper­ate the PTV soft­ware for the next five years.

Jan Lotze takes issue with the webs leading purveyor of exclusive nonsense about top players, which it is keen to keep a firm grip on

First came the internet, with unlimited free access to all the information that was on it. Then came people who thought that the internet would be a good way to make themselves some money, which was inevitable. Then came people who wanted to have their cake and eat it, like icons.com.

Jack Bell reports on the outcome of a misguided offer to FIFA

Earlier this year a website called footofgod.com closed down. Hardly a unique oc­currence, but this one did not die through the reckless ambition of its creators or for any lack of demand for its ser­­vices. Instead it was kicked in the teeth by the football gods – FI­FA. Like many websites, footofgod.com was a labour of love, not profit. This ardour be­longs to Kadima Lonji, a 29-year-old native of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) work­ing in New York as director of web development for a major US department store chain.

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