What's new in the Premier League? Garish shirts, the offside law, GDS, JFK and BT

 

BT Sport

Serious newcomers expected to make a better challenge to Sky than managed by Setanta or ESPN. They have 38 live Premier League games to be shown on Saturday lunchtimes, as opposed to Sky's 116. Liverpool against Stoke on Saturday offers an underwhelming start; Spurs at home to Chelsea and Manchester United later this autumn have greater ratings potential. Michael Owen will be the main co-commentator alongside Darren Fletcher from 5 Live and Ian Darke. Steve McManaman, Rio Ferdinand and David James are also pundits.

New faces (1) – Manuel Pellegrini

Whereas Stoke City went for a trusty old face in Mark Hughes, now in charge of his fifth Premier League club in five years, one of his former employers Manchester City have introduced a new one in the urbane Chilean Manuel Pellegrini. The 59 year-old made a good impression at his initial media conference, responding to the demand to win five trophies in five years with: "Only five?" After the madness of a year at Real Madrid, even City life should seem quieter.

Kits

Arsenal are the only club without a new home kit, and 15 of the 20 have two new strips, home and away. Liverpool's away shirt is the most garish, Newcastle's the most controversial for its large "Wonga" logo. Crystal Palace have gone for red and blue halves; Southampton's famous stripes seem to have disappeared altogether.

New faces (2) – Shahid Khan

A memorable face too with a shock of black hair and moustache to match for Fulham's new owner. The club have had some colourful chairmen down the years and Khan, born in Pakistan and also the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, certainly looks the part.

Players

Of almost 100 players recruited this summer, only 36 have come from British clubs. The three new teams (all with British managers) have shopped mainly at home, Swansea and Sunderland (Spanish and Italian managers) have each bought seven of nine new signings from abroad.

Offside law

Football's most confusing law has been amended (by Fifa) yet again in an attempt to clarify whether an attacking player is "active" or not. The intention, laudable enough, is to give greater advantage to the attacking side. A player will not now be given offside if the ball is played to him by an opponent.

Under-21 League

Played in three sections last season, before Manchester United beat Spurs in the final, the Under-21 League has been revamped into one competition of 22 clubs, who play each other once only. It is confined to clubs with a Category A academy, including League One Wolves.

New old face – Joe Kinnear

"JFK" as he is known to the north-east media pack – the "F" standing for a deleted expletive – is back as the wholly unexpected choice to be Newcastle United's director of football. At Wimbledon he was an undeniably successful Premier League manager for several seasons. But Newcastle surprised many by giving him a job after four years out of the game, and he seems certain to cross swords with the manager, Alan Pardew, and the media again at some stage. Dull it won't be.

Hawk-Eye

Goal-line technology comes to football. Known as the Goal Decision System, it will hopefully be less controversial than cricket's DRS. Last season there were 31 instances of debate about whether the ball was over the line, on three of which a goal should have been given but was not. Seven cameras will be trained on each goal, flashing an instant message to match officials if the ball goes in. Clubs have had to pay around £250,000 each for installation.

Cardiff City

The Bluebirds, rebranded by owner Vincent Tan, join Swansea, bringing with them another new stadium and giving Wales two clubs in the top flight for the first time. Cardiff were last there in 1962. Crystal Palace return for a fourth spell and Hull for a second.

Referees

Robert Madley (West Yorkshire), who sent off three players on his Premier League debut at Southampton v West Bromwich last season, is one of three new referees promoted to the full-time Select Group. He could even be joined in future by his brother Andy, who is only one step below on the ladder. Others promoted are Roger East and Craig Pawson. East is 48, Madley only 27.

How the table was...

Last season

1 Manchester United

2 Manchester City

3 Chelsea

4 Arsenal

5 Tottenham

6 Everton

7 Liverpool

8 West Bromwich

9 Swansea

10 West Ham

11 Norwich

12 Fulham

13 Stoke

14 Southampton

15 Aston Villa

16 Newcastle

17 Sunderland

18 Wigan

19 Reading

20 QPR

... and how it will be?

Prediction

1 Chelsea

2 Manchester City

3 Manchester United

4 Arsenal

5 Liverpool

6 Tottenham

7 West Ham

8 Swansea

9 Everton

10 Newcastle

11 Aston Villa

12 West Bromwich

13 Norwich

14 Fulham

15 Southampton

16 Stoke

17 Cardiff

18 Hull

19 Sunderland

20 Crystal Palace

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home