Chelsea inks YouTube deal

Football club archive footage to go online

LONDON — For supporters of Chelsea Football Club who just can’t forget that exquisite Gianfranco Zola pic or that thumping Paul Furlong header from yesteryear, then help is at hand.

Premiership soccer club Chelsea has signed a deal with YouTube that will see archive footage from the club’s subscription channel Chelsea TV available to fans on the video-sharing Web site.

The pact is the first of its kind between a U.K. soccer club and YouTube.

Restrictions in the Premier League’s broadcast contract mean live footage will not be shown on the Chelsea branded area of YouTube. But news updates and other features will accompany the archive footage.

“Chelsea is the first football club to move into what is clearly one of the fastest-growing new media platforms,” said Peter Kenyon, Chelsea Football Club chief exec. “This will allow us to offer our fans exciting Chelsea FC content in a very unique way, as well as an opportunity to reach a whole new audience.”

Soccer fans share a bounty of bootlegged clips on YouTube including countless vintage Chelsea goals and blunders. This move reps an attempt by Chelsea FC to corral Websurfing supporters to a branded area.

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