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Flashback: Man United Web site 1998-2002

Man United’s current website is one of massive proportions both in scale and interactivity. Undoubtedly there are a team of people updating it daily and making it a destination for United fans around the world.

But the website had more humble origins as can be seen in the following screenshots. The first is from 1999 (which has a similar design as the one launched in 1998, the year that the Man United site debuted at http://www.manutd.com):

man united website 1999 Flashback: Man United Web site 1998 2002

The trend in the late 1990′s was to build a splash page that was short on content but was a pretty “door” to the website. The center point of the design was Old Trafford with a beautiful photograph showing three sides of the ground. After entering the site from this page, the main page was equally simple and was filled mostly with advertising. There was typically one main headline story and that was about it except for links to the other pages.

man united website 2002 Flashback: Man United Web site 1998 2002

In 2002, the Man United website (pictured above) had a more modern look-and-feel although still nowhere near as good as the current one. Again the 2002 design was a splash page that users first saw before going to a main page. In fact, the current Man United web site has a splash page too but it’s used for directing users to different sections of the website than for decoration.

Interestingly, the 2002 version advertises a pay-per-view game that website visitors could watch on the website for 2.50 GBP (equivalent to $5). The game was Man United against Liverpool. So even in 2002, Man United’s website was ahead of the pack.

What are your memories from the old Man United website? Good or bad?


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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