The ‘hidden message’ in the Super League’s botched website launch
The Super League launch on Sunday came with an official announcement, some rudimentary branding and a website with very little in the way of new information included on it.
Unless you do what the Guardian did, and take a basic look into the underlying html code of the site and find things they didn’t want to publish.
Their sleuthing uncovered a whole host of additional information which was not publicly available either on the site or in their press release.
The embarrassing reveal unveiled a host of quotes justifying the decision of the breakaway 12 to their ultimate decision. There are four principles that are peppered, but hidden, through the background of the site that the Super League representatives believe their project will provide.
What did the Super League hidden message say?
- That ‘Sporting Merit’ remains key to their ideals: “Our aim is to deliver to fans the best football possible while providing access for qualifying clubs to ensure the vibrancy of the competition and to maintain a strong commitment to the principle of sporting merit.”
- Reinvestment into the football pyramid will happen: “Super League solidarity payments will grow automatically with overall league revenues and will be more than three times higher than payments coming from the current European championship.”
- Domestic league football will continue: “The new Super League has been designed around the principle of maintaining strong and vibrant local leagues and we will continue to compete each weekend in our national competitions as we always have.”
- Incorporation of new ideas: “The Super League ownership and governance structure is designed to allow us to rapidly adopt and incorporate new ideas into the competition. Whether it’s changes in live match distribution formats, technology-enhanced rule implementation or player development, we can no longer rely on external bodies to drive progress in these areas.”
Super League misreading the room
Other elements of the message, well, it seems much clearer why these were left off the initial communication.
After the story was leaked to the press on Sunday and was then proliferated over social media, the ‘Founding Clubs’ had several hours to assess the reaction of literally everyone. Safe to say that the vitriol from fan groups, commentators, journalists and even from some players will have led them to remove other sections of text, including:
“It will also evoke strong passions both for and against.
“We welcome this debate as sport is all about passion and differences of opinion are an essential part of being a fan. But in the end, we are confident that when fans are welcomed back into the stadiums and the first Super League matches are played, fans will enjoy the greatest competition club football has ever seen.”
This could prove to be the case over time, but as protests continue to take place outside stadiums, as seen ahead of the 1-1 draw between Leeds and Liverpool on Monday, it was exceedingly wishful thinking from the Super League cartel to assume this level of understanding from the beginning.