HÄRTING Rechtsanwälte examined the online shops of 18 top European Football Clubs in light of their compatibility with European Consumer Regulations. The results: Not one shop was completely compliant. The Bundesliga teams were at least slightly ahead of the other top European teams, who breached significantly more regulations.

Germany is not the internet shopping World Champion yet. That was the result of HÄRTING Rechtsanwälte’s Bundesliga Study, in which a close look at the online shops of all 36 first and second division football clubs was taken.

In consequence of the harmonization of European consumer law the same criteria apply for the e-commerce of Football Clubs in EU member states. But not one single club had an online fan shop that was 100% compliant with the law.

We have taken the study a step further and took a look at the online shops of the top European Clubs in Spain, England, Italy, France, Netherlands and Portugal on the basis of eight criteria. None of them was free auf mistakes. The returns policies, forms, textile descriptions and pricing are particularly problematic.

The consequences: Any mail-order clothing retailer worth its salt would be able to issue warnings to the big clubs in respect of their obligations, as indeed would consumer rights organisations. Particularly problematic are the erroneous returns policies – many fans were be able to cancel orders long after a reasonable period had elapsed.

These breaches do not just constitute a foul against the user. They also say that: If not even these football clubs that are worth millions can set up compliant fan shops, there must be something wrong with the law. The increasing complexity of the regulations governing online retailing is simply too much for these clubs and by extension, for the entirety of European internet retailers.

Read the full study here.