Extra Footie Builds on European Presence With UK Launch

Dedicated Football Social Network Launches With Tongue-In-Cheek Campaign To ‘Keep Sven In Mexico’

London, Uk (RPRN) 31/03/09- ExtraFootie (www.extrafootie.co.uk) the European social networking destination for football supporters, which was launched in Belgium six months ago and already has tens of thousands of users, is debuting in the UK with a nationwide campaign to keep former England and Manchester City manager Sven-Göran Eriksson away from the Premiership and in Mexico as national head coach, prior to its official launch at the end of April.

ExtraFootie will provide an online destination for football supporters to meet, make friends and create supporter groups, as well as to discuss the latest football news from grassroots to premiership level. An online shop, real-time statistics, weekly surveys and competitions will also add to the site’s fan-led functionality.

Most football fans agree that Sven-Göran Eriksson is a great manager – having achieved success with clubs such as Lazio, Sampdoria, Gothenberg and Benfica – and of course with the English national side, taking the team to the final stages of two World Cups and a European Championship tournament. Unfortunately, Sven has yet to succeed in the UK at club level, with his time at Manchester City regarded by many as a flop. Although Eriksson maintains that he’s happy to remain in Mexico, every time there is a vacancy at one of the Premier League clubs, he continues to be shortlisted as a possible candidate.

‘Keep Sven in Mexico’ is the first of many ExtraFootie campaigns to directly engage with its audience by encouraging users to voice opinions on all subjects football related. An area of the site is dedicated to the campaign (www.extrafootie.co.uk/sven) where fans can sign up in support or discuss the campaign’s merits with likeminded football enthusiasts.
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Pierre Barbieux, Founder and CEO of ExtraFootie, commented: “We’re launching this campaign, which is relatively tongue-in-cheek, because of the strange relationship that British football fans have with Sven. Despite his excellent club record in other countries and his relative success in the UK as national manager, his activities away from the football pitch resulted in ongoing controversy, which arguably overshadowed his ability as a manager. Moreover, his subsequent time at Manchester City meant that his relationship with British football did not end well – and we believe that many British fans will not want to see Sven back in the UK, managing a Premier League team for some time, if ever.”

Despite only being for one season, Sven’s last stint as a club manager at Manchester City certainly wasn’t a happy one – for himself or the supporters. Despite having spent over £40m on eight non-English signings, allegedly without even seeing them play, and a relatively good first half season, by the end of the season the team had won just 15 of the 38 matches.

Although Sven was out of the limelight for almost a year when he was released from City and joined Mexico, media speculation started again during the January transfer window, linking him to a number of Premiership managerial positions.

To join the ‘Keep Sven In Mexico’ campaign or, to simply voice your opinion on Sven potentially returning to the Premiership, visit www.extrafootie.co.uk/sven.

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Press Enquiries
Ben Leuty
Punch Communications
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ben@punchcomms.com

About ExtraFootie
ExtraFootie was first launched as extrafoot.be in Belgium in October 2008 in Flemish and French – from which the site currently enjoys 75,000 visits per month from an active community of existing users. The site is under beta launch in the UK an will be launched across additional territories, including Germany, Spain and Romania during the first half of 2009.

The site offers a range of social networking features, including news, forums, competition stats and a community fan shop, along with a blend of editorially-led and user generated content which covers both amateur and professional levels, that users can read and share with their friends throughout their social community. Club homepages and supporter group pages, enable users to interact in additional ways.

The site offers a range of commercial possibilities for advertising partners, including co-branding across a number of applications, from an iPhone application, to poker, fantasy football leagues, SMS competitiors, ringtones, live streaming of football matches, merchandising opportunities via the online shop and site-wide branding. Advertisers to date include: Worldteam and Coca Cola, whilst partners include Bwin.com.

The project is being run by a successful management team, including Pierre Barbieux, a serial entrepreneur who built & sold www.travel-library.com to Expedia for $7M in 2007 and Ciprian Morar, the former Head of Product Development at Expedia.