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The admin teams behind several Rivals.net fan sites have left en masse, saying the Sky-owned portal’s technology is outdated.

The rebels have set up a new sports network called Clubfanzine and claim around 40 Rivals sites have agreed to jump ship, including those of Premiership clubs Newcastle, Middlesborough and Derby County.

This is bad news for Sky, especially given the timing, just days after the new football season started.

The editors of the fan sites say the new Clubfanzine portal, although clearly incomplete, will offer a more flexible platform and allow them to develop more interactive features.

Rivals, which was taken over by Sky when it bought 365 Media (then ukbetting) last year, is yet to comment, so it's not clear what impact the move will have on its figures.

It says it forms the largest network of unofficial club sites in the UK with over 1m visitors a month.

Announcing the move, the editor of Southampton’s fan site wrote:

“It wasn’t a decision taken lightly to leave, but with approximately 40 of my fellow Rivals editors committed to the move it was one I thought essential.”

This is going to hurt Sky. It appears that the editors of these fan sites feel somewhat left out in the cold by the new owners of Rivals, with claims being made about Sky pursuing a new direction for the sports network.

"Sky have made no contact with regards to the site and seem content to head towards a Facebook-type network based on early designs shown," claims Robert Nichols at Fly Me To The Moon, the Middlesbrough fan site.

The fan sites are already migrating their technology to become independent from Rivals. Users have started re-registering to be able to post and reply to messages on the new message boards. Many have accepted the need for change, but others appear aggrieved with the transition.

We're starting to wonder whether Sky has left it too late to act?

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Published 14 August, 2007 by Richard Maven

529 more posts from this author

Comments (18)

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Geoff

What utter rubbish, the reason they have left is pure greed, they have been whinging about money for ages.

about 9 years ago

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David

You could be right. US Rivals.com sold for $100m earlier this year.

about 9 years ago

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Dev

Actually the truth is...Rivals MB's were hijacked for up to 6 hours after people who were given the 'responsibility' and trust of Admin roles decided to use admin powers to create a 'pop up' as they like to call it, or a re-direction bug if you want to be honest about it. This 'pop up' had the message 'This site has moved!' and re-routed users to a new forum which they have been forming themselves.

This would not be half as outrageous had it not been a move driven by greed!

Those who think it's all as clear cut as just joining another forum should realise that these people have planned to make a hell of a lot of money by taking your naivity for granted!

Ok, the Rivals sites are very very dated in terms of internet progression but the format is one which most of us 'fans' would rather keep. It's not just a MB it's an online community of people. Football fans have been getting rolled over for years now.....but fans cashing in on fans is a very very worrying development in my opinion.

Out of principle, I will boycott the new forum!

about 9 years ago

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Jonathan

The Millwall site (www.millwallonline.com) has moved with great success to an established network (www.vitalfootball.co.uk). Others I'm sure would be more than welcome.

about 9 years ago

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Nige Spurs

Personally, I regularly contribute on quite a few of the community sites, such as Footymad, Vital Football and Rivals. My personal preference is Vital Football as it has always been welcoming and entertaining.

about 9 years ago

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Neil

Why on earth Rivals are having their editors that moved over back, I'll never know. They should throw the book at them for breach of contract.

about 9 years ago

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John

Dev. Please stop talking rubbish. Your bitterness over rightly being banned from rivals for two years is obvious to see in your 'wide of the mark' comments.

about 9 years ago

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cannontrodder

The rivals forum code had serious bugs in it. The main one being that any user who is banned can continue to post under their existing username. This then made the site admins open to and unable to stop any libellous comments.

They then said they would not be making any improvements to the site software.

We are now all happy in our new site where we can actually protect the site owner from potential legal costs, unlike with the Rivals network.

about 9 years ago

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Dev

John.....I was banned for for having a difference in opinion with a few of the users on the forum.....who later turned out to be drinking pals of admin.

So before you go on about 'wide of the mark' comments....make sure you actualy know what on earth you are talking about.

Fact is for the past few years the people who were given the access to admin privaliges have been abusing those rights. And the unprofessionalism of these people has once again reared it's ugly head as they have used those admin powers to push their own new website in to peoples faces.

By abusing the trust of Rivals these people used a website that did not belong to them, and without permision added a misleading pop-up that informed it's users that the site had moved. That IS illegal and shows the level of moron that have been running talkofthetyne.com for the past few years.

It's like being given a job to manage a shop, working there for 2 years and then one day telling every customer that walked in the door that the shop is closing down and moving up the road...when in fact it's not closing down....you are just opening another and using your boss' premises to advertise it whilst at the same time trying to steal it's customers all in one go....rather than build up the custom over a period of years your boss did.

If you think I am wrong for having concerns over this behaviour then that's your business. But what I see is people trying to make a fast buck by setting up a website and using unfair advantages to get ahead quickly.

The people who hijacked those sites a couple of nights ago really should be concerned about possible legal proceedings from Rivals.

about 9 years ago

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FRed

"They should throw the book at them for breach of contract"

Unfortunately Rivals lost all the contracts , the last of which was issued in 2003

about 9 years ago

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JK

why would anyone want to be part of a network of sites! its far better to do it yourselves having total control over everything rather than having someone else being overlord!

about 9 years ago

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John

As I said Dev, 'wide of the mark' and you've proved it again.

about 9 years ago

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Dev

So you say John.....

about 9 years ago

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Marcus

I don't see why some people are complaining. The new site is many times faster than the old one. Much much better! Before I had to wait minutes for each page to load. The new site loads in seconds!

about 9 years ago

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David Beckham

Everyone should stick with network sites like this one:

www.hartlepool.vitalfootball.co.uk

about 9 years ago

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Geoff

Why would anybody want to join vital????
I had the misfortune of working for them, not only did I get £14 for three months work, they expected you to make up names to make the messageboards look like they were used

about 9 years ago

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gusintheuk2

There is a new Rivals........set up by the fans for the fans

its called 21st century rivalz .....google it

no bull just rivals style banter .....full featured site

almost 7 years ago

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Smirnoff

Sky bought Rivals.net in order to break it up and close it down, so that they could promote their own fans sites on Sky Sports. Just as they have done with any other of their opposition companies. Rivals is no more!!!

almost 7 years ago

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