The Panini Superinjunction Collection features the silhouettes of anonymous Premier League footballers that kids can buy, collect and swap in the playground, although for legal reasons they are not allowed to mention any names.
‘It’s great,’ said Timothy Ferris, aged 10, ‘nobody knows who any of the cards are for certain; it’s all based on guesswork, supposition and what we can find out on Twitter.’
‘There’s already a massive demand for this range,’ said Panini’s head of marketing, Gianfranco Farinelli, ‘although under English law the collection is impossible to advertise so we are mostly doing it through word of mouth.’
The value of each card or sticker varies depending on the fame of the footballer involved and the level of scandal alleged.
Prices are also being massively inflated after many players have been paying their lawyers to go round school playgrounds to buy up any cards or stickers in circulation. Accordingly, children are now being warned to stay away from any strange men hanging around by the school gates claiming to be from Schillings or Carter-Ruck.
However, the value of some players can crash. ‘Once a footballer is named in the media they become worthless,’ explained Ollie Jessup, aged 9, ‘I’m now stuck with three Ryan Giggs that I can’t even swap for one John Terry.’
Panini have also launched a Celebrity Superinjunction collection featuring the blacked-out faces of well-known actors, chefs, and reality TV stars. ‘We hope to develop a crossover market for this range,’ explained Farinelli, ‘with many sports fans keen to match footballers to the celebrity that they are accused of sleeping with. Ultimately the aim is to collect the stickers of everyone involved in a scandal – stars, wives, lovers, prostitutes – and get them all lined up together on the same page, typically with Max Clifford at the centre.’
The new collection is officially licensed by the High Court and has been warmly welcomed by Lord Justice Eady. ‘This is a great way for kids to learn about the law,’ he said, ‘although if they mention any names I will have them immediately arrested.’