Diving bans and sleeve ads: What's new in the Premier League?

The arrival of the new season brings some key changes

Moussa Dembele
Moussa Dembele of Spurs goes down against West Brom
(Image credit: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images)

The new Premier League season is upon us, but what's new in 2017-18?

Diving bans

Perhaps the biggest development this season will be a new panel judge on allegations of diving.

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"After years of unpunished malfeasance, divine justice finally comes to the Premier League, courtesy of a three-man simulation panel who will sit on Mondays to review footage of footballers falling over," says The Times. "Think of it as Splash minus Tom Daley. Those unanimously found guilty of simulation will be condemned to eternal damnation, or a two-match ban."

A new ball

The Ordem V is the 17th Nike-designed ball to grace the Premier League. You may have seen it bouncing off windows, bobbing around in ponds and stuck up trees in your local park as it has been available since June.

The professionals will get to show it off properly this weekend.

According to Nike, the Ordem V features a "distorted motion graphic" designed to help players better spot the ball, enabling them to "make rapid decisions as they react to the game around them".

"A unique construction distributes pressure evenly across the ball to ensure an accurate strike while Aerotrac grooves in the surface help ensure a stable flight through the air. In addition, graphics are printed onto the surface using a 3-D ink that creates a textured feel for enhanced grip and feel," says the London Evening Standard.

Others might describe it as blue and white with orange and yellow bits.

New look kits

The lettering and numbering on the back of shirts will be slightly different this year after the Premier League updated its fonts.

This season players' backs will be adorned with "modern and vibrant designs featuring updated lettering which aligns with the Premier League's visual identity", according to the league.

"As part of the process the Premier League surveyed more than 1,500 fans on six proposed designs and enlisted the help of Premier League commentator Peter Drury to test the visibility of the new design during live testing at Watford FC," it claims.

Sleeve adverts

One thing rugby has that football doesn't is kits covered in adverts. But the Premier League has taken a step towards changing that this season.

"As well as having brands on the front of their shirts, clubs are now able to feature sponsors on the sleeves," says the Premier League.

"Brands will be allowed to advertise on the left sleeve of their shirts only, replacing the Premier League badge, which will remain on the other sleeve."

So far 11 clubs have taken up the option of sleeve adverts. Remarkably, Manchester United is not yet one of them.

Old style pitches

The "snazzy pitch designs cooked up by Leicester and Southampton's enterprising groundsmen" will be a thing of the past this season, says the Times, after the Premier League banned "funky patterns".

The change in rules is designed to bring English football in line with Uefa regulations, "which, given the British public's fondness for being bound by European legislation, is sure to prove a popular sentiment".

Pitch-side seats

Away fans must be allocated at least one block of pitch-side seating this season under new regulations.

They won't be able to marvel at the pitch design but they will at least get a better look at the action.

"No top-tier view at St James' Park will be nice," says the This Is Anfield website, looking forward to Liverpool's visit to Newcastle in October.

Videos for docs

"Video technology will be allowed into technical areas in an effort to better protect players from the damages of concussion," reports the BBC.

"Club doctors and physios will now be able to watch replays of any injury sooner after it has happened. Previously, footage could only be reviewed in the tunnel."

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