J. Service Science & Management, 2010, 3: 110-116
doi:10.4236/jssm.2010.31014 Published Online March 2010 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/jssm)
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
Quantitative Assessment of Football Web Sites: An
Empirical Study of the Best European Football Club
Francisco Javier Miranda1, Antonio Cha morro2, Víctor Valero2, Jesús Maestre3
1Professor of Operation Management, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain; 2Professor of Marketing, University of Extre-
madura, Badajoz, Spain; 3Researcher, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain.
Email: fmiranda@unex.es
Received October 1st, 2009; revised November 12th, 2009; accepted December 20th, 2009.
Football and the Internet have shown early signs of a prosperous marriage. Web sites with football content are among
the most popular, with football followers and web users sharing remarkably similar demographics. Despite these com-
pelling observations, limited empirical research has been undertaken exploring how to maximise the opportunities for
competitive advantage that the Internet can provide to football clubs. This research was a response to this void, and
was undertaken by manually accessing and evaluating the web sites of European Football Clubs. Quality of web sites
was determined using an original Web Assessment Index, which focuses on four categories: accessibility, speed, navi-
gability and content. A detailed report of the results arising from this investigatio n is presented and systematically ana-
lyzed. These findings will be useful for both researchers and practitioners who seek to understand the issues relevant to
football club management.
Keywords: World Wide Web, Football, Content Analysis, Web Design, Internet, Research Paper
1. Introduction
The number of Internet users has grown significantly
over the last few years, from virtually nothing to an
estimated 1.04 billion users that are 16% of the world’s
population. This rapid growth in the number of Internet
users has promoted a belief in many business circles
that the Web represents a huge marketing opportunity.
1) With increasing interest in the Internet’s role for
business marketing, sport marketers throughout the
world and at all levels of the sport industry are rapidly
working to incorporate emerging technologies into
their marketing strategies. Not surprisingly, the Inter-
net has become a significant marketing tool for many
sport organisations, including professional sports teams.
2) The same market forces do not drive European
Football Clubs websites as most other sectors. They
have a loyal fan base that they can rely upon. They are
able to provide a lot of exclusive content that can’t be
found elsewhere. And they have brand names easily
recognisable, in many cases, worldwide. Despite these
apparent advantages, each club website should not be
seen as operating in a vacuum. Whilst the temptation
must be to consider that official club websites operate
in an uncompetitive marketplace, there are authorita-
tive and comprehensive websites from newspapers and
TV channel and others, including “unofficial” fan
websites, that provide alternatives for users to turn to.
So, loyalty to one team should not be confused with
loyalty to the team’s official website.
The results of our survey should be considered
within this broader context. Whilst the clubs doubtless
enjoy large volumes of traffic, and many successful
transactions, there is clear scope for improvement.
European Clubs benefit from their high profile brands
with regards to the large numbers of incoming links
that boost their website’s visibility. Clubs will doubt-
less be able to boast of large numbers of visits origi-
nating from search engines. This appears to owe more
to their brand name or unique offerings than to any
clear evidence of optimisation on their sites. Yet, clubs
should not feel that they should rely only on their suc-
cessful brands. As good as this sector’s visibility is,
there are still steps that could be taken by the majority
of the clubs to improve that. And any improvement in
visibility should ultimately result in increased revenue
This research evaluated the current practice of Euro-
pean Football Clubs, assessing the effectiveness of their
web sites. For this, we develop a web site assessment
Quantitative Assessment of Football Web Sites: An Empirical Study of the Best European Football Club
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
index that can be employed to compare the current usage
of the Internet by football clubs. We begin by identifying
the main factors considered as determinants of web site
quality, as mentioned in previous studies. Secondly we
discuss the design of the web assessment index. Then,
web sites of most popular European Football Leagues are
subsequently analyzed using this index. Finally, the main
results of this analysis are discussed and future re-
search directions are outlined.
2. Web Sites Assessment Tool
The quality of a user’s visit to a website is not simply
determined by the strength of content on that website.
The way a website is constructed and maintained can
have a positive or negative impact on that experience.
Most website visitors have a specific task in mind when
they arrive at a website. Placing obstacles in their way
from completing those tasks can lead to frustration, and
consequently to website abandonment and undermine
brand reputation.
Evaluating the performance of web sites has been a
constant concern of researchers in different fields. A re-
view of the recent literature on web site assessment re-
veals some attempts to measure web site quality [19].
Some researchers have tried to provide ways of evalu-
ating web sites specifically [10,11]. Most of the previous
approaches have focused either on basic management
content or a specific set of web site outcomes, using sub-
jective factors, such as easy-access, text clearness, pres-
entation quality, attractiven ess of colours, sound s, etc. To
minimize this subjectivity site evaluators should be given
precise guidelines to rate each factor and a large group of
evaluators is needed [4].
Trying to avoid the main weaknesses of previous mod-
els [12] developed a new web site assessment index that
can be employed to compare the current use of the Inter-
net by different organizations. This model has been pre-
viously employed to compare the Internet usage from the
200 largest Spanish companies [13] and more recently
applied to Spanish banks [14].
According to Evans and King [4], a web assessment
tool must have five main components: categories, factors,
weigh ts, ratings and total sc ore. The first step is to choose
the categories and factors that are critical to web site effec-
tiveness. Our instrument for evaluating Football Club web
sites (Web Assessment Index or WAI) selects four broad
categories as the basis for a quality web site: accessibility,
speed, navigability and site content (Figure 1).
The key factors within each category are chosen based
on the literature and the researchers’ experience, and
must reflect what users are generally considered to be
important components and features of web sites.
The first category in the WAI is accessibility. It is
clear that the quality of a web site is increased if the site
Figure 1. Web site quality assessment model
is easily identifiable and accessible to the users. However,
merely counting “hits” on a page is not an accurate
measurement of quality or success of a web site [15]. In
order to actually evaluate the accessibility of a web site,
we need to define objective measurable quantities.
Therefore, the authors have employed two indicators to
measure this category: search engines presence and link
1) Higher search engines rankings translate into greater
traffic to the site and therefore, increase its degree of ac-
cessibility. Search engines are responsible for generating
approximately 80% of new visitors to the majority of web-
sites. Appearing in the top results for the most app ropriate
phrases is key to maximizing the benefit derived from the
search engines. In the present wo rk, to evaluate this fa ctor
we have chosen Google, because this search engine is the
most frequently used by internet users.
2) The second indicator used to measure accessibility
is the sitepopularity. The most common measure of web
performance is the number of “hits” a site generates.
However, there is accuracy problems associated with this
type of measurement, because there are some methods to
artificially increase the number of hits. Therefore, the
total number of hits does not necessarily correspond to
the actual number of visits to the site.
Taking this into account, we decided to employ a dif-
ferent kind of measurement: we defined link popularity
as the number of external links on the web that point to
the web site being analyzed. The advantages of a large
number of links to a site are evident: firstly, the more
sites that link to you, the more traffic you can expect to
receive, and secondly, major search engines will improve
your page ranking when you have more links to your
web site [13]. For example, Google uses link popularity
as the most important factor when ranking sites, so if you
want to have a successful web site, you must have high
link popularity. In this study we have used the Link
Popularity Check, a freeware program that checks the
link popularity status of a web site on several search en-
gines and compares it to other web sites on the Internet.
Access speed and response time are obviously very
significant, because time is always a critical factor. Some
studies have revealed that there is a significant correla-
Quantitative Assessment of Football Web Sites: An Empirical Study of the Best European Football Club
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
tion between web site download speed and web user sat-
isfaction [16,17]. The time it takes for a page to
download is important for making it easily accessible to
every user interested in accessing online services.
The access speed has been measured with a chro-
nometer, but this recording is influenced by a great
number of factors such as hardware employed, connec-
tion time, web traffic etc. In order to minimize these
sources of error, the tests were carried out at the same
time with the same computer. Web browsing was under-
taken by using the most popular browser, Internet Ex-
plorer 6.0. The sites were repeatedly accessed on con-
secutive days to obtain more representative average
speed measurements.
The third category in our index is what we call navi-
gability. Poor web design will result in a loss of potential
sales due to users being unable to find what they want,
and a loss of potential repeated visits due to an initial
negative experience. Given that users should never feel
lost, each page should be selfsufficient and provide links
to the main contents. In terms of navigation, our analysis
focused on the consistency of the navigation style. Navi-
gation bars should be present on every website, in order
to allow quick access through the entire site, particularly
for those web sites with large amounts of content. So, the
hallmark of a good site is that the site index should al-
ways be on display, thereby making it very easy for
anybody to reach the desired location fast enough. So,
following the research of Miranda et al. [14], the factors
used to assess this category are the following:
1) Permanent site menu allowing a rapid access to the
different sections from every page.
2) Web site map, for users to locate available interest-
ing items within the company home page.
3) Keyword search option.
Content is a critical component of any website. No
matter how technologically advanced a website’s fea-
tures, if its content is not current or if the information
provided is not correct, then it is not fulfilling its purpose.
The content quality of the web site will be measured as-
sessing the presence of information relevant to the users.
A site must have contents that satisfy users’ needs and it
should be frequently updated. Football Clubs web sites-
can contain various features, including tickets informa-
tion, history, events, online shop, etc.
Important information should be immediately accessi-
ble. If 80% of your users are seeking 20% of your infor-
mation, then that information should be the most visible
and the easiest accessible. Basic contact information of
the organization should be on the main menu page and
related information should be grouped together rather
than scattered in different sections of the site.
The factors selected to quantify content quality were
based on site contents identified in previous studies [6,7,
1214] practitioner journals and the researchers’ experi-
ence. Our methodology for evaluating football clubs web
sites includes such components; however, we have added
some additional factors. We have considered three sets of
factors to assess the content of a web site using a binary
no/yes scale:
1) Informational facto rs.-Providing online information
to potential users is the most important part of an effec-
tive football club website. So, football club sites are
largely informational. We have considered the following
informational factors:
• Club History
• Corporate Identity
• Seasonal tickets information
• Shop Information
• Restaurant information
• Events information
• Travel information
• News
• External links
• Corporate Information
• Prices information
• Languages
• Organizational structure
2) Transactional factors.-A critical component of foot-
ball club site is the provision of services online. These
options operate under a secure server, which means that
information therein is protected once you have logged in.
So, the Football clubs content features that are found
in each of the searched web sites can be included in the
following categories:
• Tickets online
• Online shop (merchandising)
3) Communicational factors.-Given that web sites are
often entry points to the football club, visitors typically
want to obtain access to information about the football
club, contact information for the club should be on the
main menu page and therefore easily accessible. More
broadened contact information is a benefit for users. In
order to evaluate the communicational capacity of each
web site we identified whether the site contains the fol-
lowing items:
• Complaints and comments e-mail
• Telephone
• Users feedback tools (e-mail bulletin)
• Reserved area
To ensure reliability, each Football Club Web site was
assessed by two evaluators, and in those cases where
significant variations (over or under 10%) were shown
on the raw score between evaluators, websites were ana-
lyzed a third time.
After defining them, all the categories and factors were
weighted (based on a total of 100 points). These weight-
ings have been assigned from the analysis of previous
studies [4,8,1214] and have taken into account the
views of different Internet expert users. Moreover, to
Quantitative Assessment of Football Web Sites: An Empirical Study of the Best European Football Club
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
ensure the reliability of this assignment, 10 web sites
users were recruited as evaluators. Each web site user
provided the relative importance of the different categories
in the instrument. First, users distributed 100 points
among the 4 major categories. A Delphi analysis allowed
us to e sta bli sh t he fi nal lis t of it ems a nd t heir wei ght s.
The use of these subjective weightings may be consid-
ered as the main limitation of our study; however, some
recent studies [14] have employed similar weightings.
Mean values of the weights obtained for the different
categories and subcategories of Football club sites are
shown in Table 1.
3. Football Club Web Sites Assessment
We have assessed the 76 best Football Club in the 4 more
important leagues in Europe: Premier (England), LFP
(Spain), Calcio (Italy) and Portuguese League (Portugal).
These leagues are not only ranked within the top five
European football leagues from a point of view of per-
formance on the field, but are also widely considered to
be the most businesslike football leagues in the world.
This research evaluated the official Web sites of each Foot-
ball club selected in their native languages in September of
2008. Table 2 is a list of the Football clubs selected.
According to the WAI, the best web sites correspond
Table 1. Web assessment index
Presence in search engines Site map
Popularity Permanent site menu
Keyword search option
Access speed (in seconds)
Informational content 18,33% Transactional content 18,33%
Club History Online Shop
Corporate Identity Tickets online
Corporate Information
Events information
External links
Communic. content 18,33%
Organiz ational str ucture Complai nts and comm ents e-mail
Prices information Reserved area
Restaurant information Telephone
Seasonal tickets information Users feedback tools
Shop Information
Travel information
Club History
Corporate Identity
Corporate Information
Events information
External links
to Lazio (Italy) and Chelsea (England), followed by
two Spanish clubs Ath. Bilbao and Barcelona. However,
the most valuable outpu t from our study is not the ab ility
to identify the best sites, but to see how each Football
club site is compared to related sites and to spot ideas
and practices that can improve theses sites.
Table 3 shows an outline of the results derived from
the study for European Football clubs (according to
WAI). The main overall results, grouped by categories
(accessibility, speed, navigability and site content), are
summarized and discussed in the following sections.
Figure 2 shows the aver age scor e by country. Englan d
Football club have higher WAI values compared to the
rest, although the difference is not highly significative.
Table 2. List of football club analyzed
Spain Italy Portugal England
Almeria F.C. Atalanta Académica Coimbra Arsenal
Atlethic de Bil bao Cagliari Beleneses Aston Villa
Atlético de Madrid Catania Benfica Black Burn Rover
Barcelona Empoli Boa Vista Bolton Wanderers
Betis Fiorentina C D N ac i o n a l M a d e i ra Chelsea
C.D. Osasuna Genoa Estrela Amadora Everton
Depor. d e la Cor uña Inter de Milán Leixoes Fulham
Espanyol Juventus Marítimo Hull City
Getafe Lazio Naval F.C. Liverpool
Numancia Livorno O Porto Manchester City
Racing de Santander Milán Pacos Ferreira Manchester United
Real Madrid Napoli Setúbal Midlesbr ough
Recreat. de Huelva Palermo Sporting de Braga NewC ast le Uni ted
Sevilla F.C. Parma Sporting de Lisboa Portsmouth
Sporting d e GijónReggina Uniao Lira Stoke City
U.D. Mallorca Roma Victoria Guimares Sunderland
U. D. Levante Sampdoria Tottenham H.
Valencia Siena West Bromwich
Valladolid Torino West Ham
Villarreal Udinese Wigan Athletic
a. Sample of a Table footnote. (Table footnote)
Figure 2. WAI values by country
Quantitative Assessment of Football Web Sites: An Empirical Study of the Best European Football Club
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
Table 3. WAI values for European football clubs
ClubWAIAccesibilitySpeedNavegability Content
Lazio73,1653,2166,667 66,6782,14
Chelsea70,4863,5120,000 100,0078,10
Atl ethic de B i lbao66,8751, 4570,0001 00 , 0 061,19
Barcelona65,0946,0835,897 33,3386,90
Sunderland64,3628,7341,176 66,6779,76
Getafe64,1925,9141,176 66,6780,24
Bolton Wanderers64,1851,4717,28466,6779,76
Atlético de Madrid63,4852,2537,838100,0063,57
Liverpool62,4749,3036,842 66,6771,90
Cagliari60,7926,6650,000 66,6771,43
Manchester United58,9475,5533,33366,6759,29
West Bromwich Albim57,3951,2724,56166,6765,48
Hull City56,9925,9734,14666,6769,05
Real Madrid56,2157,2743,750100,0047,38
Aston Villa56,0052,328,28433,3376,19
Arsenal55,3366,3943,750 66,6752,38
Inter de Milán55,1166,9945,16166,6751,43
Beleneses53,1050,5373,684 33,3353,57
Sporting de Lisboa53,0452,7773,68433,3352,86
Atalanta52,3951,3730,435 66,6754,76
Sporting de Braga52,3050,7024,56133,3365,48
Benfica52,2253,3951,852 33,3357,14
Victoria Guimares51,640,5932,55866,6766,67
O Porto51,4754,0963,63633,3352,38
Wigan Athletic50,0526,5720,58833,3369,05
Sevilla F.C.49,9054,2645,16133,3354,52
Manchester City49,5957,1263,63666,6739,05
Boa Vista49,0250,5820,29033,3360,71
Black Burn Rover47,7751,8029,78766,6746,43
Valencia47,5154,7763,636 33,3345,00
Sampdoria47,2252,1028,571 33,3354,76
Unión Deportiva Levante45,7950,2523,33366,6745,00
West Ham45,0555,3121,21266,6742,86
Juventus44,5757,0458,333 33,3340,48
Almeria F.C.44,5325,5773,68466,6735,71
Villarreal44,4551,6835,000 33,3348,10
Stoke City44,1913,6522,22266,6752,38
Fulham44,1353,6725,455 66,6740,48
Portsmouth44,0426,9513,333 33,3360,00
Milán43,8926,5637,838 66,6744,05
Midlesbrough43,8326,8319,718 66,6748,81
Everton43,2760,0017,722 66,6739,29
Tottenham H.41,7630,2840,00066,6738,57
Sporting de Gijón41,3750,1928,00066,6735,71
Deportivo de la Coruña40,9027,1453,846100,0025,00
NewCastle United40,8452,8718,42133,3345,71
Racing de Santander40,7525,1150,00033,3344,52
Torino40,6052,4720,588 66,6735,71
Numancia40,5650,5522,222 66,6735,71
Fiorentina39,9451,1833,333 33,3340,48
Valladolid39,5725,959,655 66,6744,05
C.D. Osasuna39,4351,8946,66733,3335,71
Reggina39,3551,4229,167 33,3340,48
Siena38,8051,14100,000 33,3320,24
Uniao Lira38,5250,2446,66733,3334,52
Udinese38,4951,7735,000 100,0019,05
Roma38,02100,0015,385 33,3328,57
Marítimo37,480,6629,787 66,6741,67
Betis36,6651,9550,000 33,3329,76
Empoli35,7150,9014,141 33,3338,10
Estrela Amadora34,3250,1331,81833,3330,95
Palermo33,3327,8951,852 33,3329,76
Recreativo de Huelva32,0050,8963,63633,3317,86
Livorno31,911,7946,667 33,3335,71
Académica Coimbra30,910,6241,17633,3335,71
U.D. Mallorca29,3351,0826,41533,3323,10
C.D. Nacional Madeira29,170,0338,88933,3333,33
Genoa27,1251,164,651 33,3325,00
Espanyol26,9051,8540,000 33,3314,76
Napoli25,8613,7120,588 33,3328,57
Parma24,3625,7837,838 33,3317,86
Catania21,1113,1620,000 33,3320,24
a. Each factor was measured on a 1-100 scale.
3.1 Accessibility
Overall website visibility for this sector is good. The
biggest factor in this success is the number of incoming
links to the websites. For the majority of websites these
are high and this sector’s average number of incoming
links exceeds the average across the internet as a whole.
These links will help to drive traffic to the website, act as
an endorsement and boost brand reputation, and help to
improve search engine performance. There are pros and
cons to having multiple domain names, as a majority of
the clubs does, however one of the drawbacks is that by
not having all the incoming links pointing at a single
domain name, it dilutes the positive effect that they have
on search engine performance.
Given that clubs achieve better profit margins selling
their merchandise directly, it is surprising not to see more
evidence of optimization despite the relatively strong
showing by some of the clubs in the search engines.
Roma and Manchester United show the greater values in
this category.
3.2 Speed
Typically, those sites whose pages fully loaded quickly
were also easily navigable. The term speed is often used
synonymously as data rate in networking. Technically
speaking, speed refers to the user-perceived performance
of the netw ork application.
Siena, Sporting de Lisboa, Almeria and Beleneses
were the sites that received the highest possible rating in
this area. The range of values measured varied from 4 to
100 seconds.
Football websites are as likely to be browsed at home
as at work. This is a difficult issue to resolve, as website
visitors doubtless want to see images of the team, players
and matches, whilst the clubs want to harness the popu-
larity of their websites to place advertising. A large
number of websites employ pop-up windows for adver-
tising. Use of popup w indows ar e gene rally co n sidered to
be poor practice from a usability point of view, as they
tend to irritate users reducing the download speed and
with pop-up blockers becoming more common, the ef-
fectiveness of this approach is also open to question. So,
more consideration of connection speed may provide a
better user experience for we bsite visitors.
3.3 Navigability
We assessed how easy it was to navigate around the site,
to return to th e home p age or to find relevant information.
Links to components within the site should be available
from every page and the security must be appropriate for
the interactions conducted at the site [4].
Given the size of the websites, and the amount of con-
tent available on them, it is disappointing to report a
shortage of alternative navigation options. Almost 96%
of the sites provided a permanent menu but only 42% of
the web websites have an internal search engine. Addi-
tionally, only 15% have a site map.
Four Spanish clubs, Atlethic de Bilbao, Deportivo de
la Coruña, Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, with Udi-
nese (Italy) and Chelsea (England) achieved the higher
rates in this category.
Quantitative Assessment of Football Web Sites: An Empirical Study of the Best European Football Club
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
3.4 Site Content
Site content has been assessed by considering the rele-
vant information that must appear in a Football club site
according to the needs of potential users. Barcelona, La-
zio and Geta fe achieved the high er rates in this category.
External links, Club History and News are included in
almost all web sites analyzed (see Figure 3). Only 53,42
% offer seasonal tickets information.
Gaining the ability to communicate with new interna-
tional audiences in their own language will boost sales
and create awareness of a brand, service or product. With
every language added to a Web site, there is the poten tial
for an increase of more than 100% in sales.
Much has been made of football clubs attempting to
promote themselves worldwide, and with players coming
from all over the world to play for their clubs, interest in
the European Football Leagues has never been greater.
Therefore, it can be seen as a missed opportunity that
relatively few websites (30%) currently offer content
limited or otherwise in another language.
However Clubs like Barcelona, Milán, Chelsea, Inter,
Manchester United, Sev illa F. C., Real Madrid, Valencia
and Manchester City deserve a special mention, for pro-
viding content in several languages, including Chinese
and Japanese.
With respect to the transactional content features that
are found in each of the searched web sites, the most
interesting area involves using the Internet to facilitate
users online ticke ts. Only 13,7% Fo o tball Club s offer this
option. And only 4 6% include an online shop to buy mer-
chandising articles.
Finally, with respect to communicatio nal factors, most
sites provide an e-mail for complaints and comments
(75,3%) and a contact telephone number (80,82%), with
only about 17,8% of them providing an e-mail bulletin.
One change we have noticed is the increased use of
password protected online areas th at provide information
to register users (47,9%). Making users register might
Figure 2. Informational content
not be a huge issue to those clubs concentrating on their
traditional fan base, but for tho se clubs looking to attract
new audiences – for instance from abroad – this approach
could also have a negative impact on their brand, affect
customer acquisition and ultimately merchandise sales. It
is also worth noting that the registration forms for most
of these websites are also quite long and detailed.
4. Discussion and Conclusions
The web environment offers Football Clubs the opportu-
nity to deliver information and services, to enhance
communication to and among its stakeholder groups.
This paper proposes and tests a model, the Web
Assessment Index (WAI), for evaluating the potential
of Football Club web sites, allowing researchers and
managers to compare attributes and components of
Internet sites, in order to determine the dra wbacks and
Although the quality of content generally cannot be
faulted, the quality of u ser experience could be impr oved.
Fans having to wait for pages to load, not so much be-
cause of pictures of the team, but because of adverts, are
entitled to feel frustrated. Website abandonment must
still be a factor on these websites, as well as perhaps
generating negative feelings towards the brand. Some
home pages, for example could take as long as a minute
or more to fully load on a standard connection.
For some websites, advertising can take up as much as
a third of the screen. And with space for navigation, con-
tent sometimes seems squeezed into the middle, almost
as an afterthought.
The main challenge in the elab oration of the in dex was
to avoid subjective factors, which have been predominant
in previous assessment tools. Our index is based on four
broad categories: site content, speed, accessibility and
navigability which are quantified in an objective and
logical way. The results of the application of this index to
the analysis of Football Club web sites have demon-
strated the high flexibility of the WAI and have detected
the main weaknesses of the web pages assessed.
It is worth noting that there are several limitations for
this analysis. Firstly, all the data in the survey was col-
lected from a limited number of visits to each site at a
certain time, despite the fact that the web is a highly dy-
namic and changeable medium. Similar studies at differ-
ent times are likely to show different results. Such an
evaluation over ti me will also sh ed some light on wheth-
er there is a divergence or convergence of web activities.
In addition, it is pruden t to note th at differences in club
structures, culture, financial circumstances and indeed
sporting codes, mean that the results are not necessarily
generalisable to every club, or indeed to the wider Euro-
pean Football industry. Nevertheless, every effort has
been made to include league-based comparisons in order
to identify any differences.
Quantitative Assessment of Football Web Sites: An Empirical Study of the Best European Football Club
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A second concern was the subjective nature of factors
weightings, which although are based on the results of
previous studies and personal interviews with Internet
Nevertheless, the strength of this study lies in its foun-
dation for future research: Having identified the critical
categories and factors in the WAI, the next stage is to test
this tool in different contexts and measure the relation-
ship between the index value and organizational success.
Further research in this important area is currently under
Evaluators can use this instrument easily without spe-
cific training or knowledge and, besides, the evaluation
time is lower than in other assessment models [11].
As further information on web design and usability
methods becomes available, the assessment index pre-
sented here can be refined into an empirically validated
toolkit for the design of functional corporate sites. The
proposed index constitutes a suitable method for evalu-
ating web sites and making a comprehensive analysis of
the usage of the new medium.
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