by Andrew Crawshaw
Monday before the season gets underway this coming Friday (Man United v Leicester). No news yet on the PL website about which referees have been appointed to blow the whistles but there are some other snippets of news. STOP PRESS (or perhaps I should say STOP BLOG) – it is being reported as Michael Oliver)
So while we are waiting, here are the first four innovations for the new season
- The Match officials will have new kits made by Nike. They use a new sweat-wicking fabric to remove sweat from the skin for quicker evaporation – supposedly helping officials stay dry, comfortable and focussed. They come in four colours, anthracite black and siren red are carried forward from last year but equator blue and volt (yellow) are new for this season.
- Simon Hooper and David Coote are confirmed to be regular PL referees this season and they will be joined by new assistant referees Neil Davies (33) from London and David Rabothan (30) from Norfolk. Simon and David are both 36 and replace Mike Jones (50) and Neil Swarbrick (53).
- There is a new ball – The Nike Merlin, said to be the most advanced yet. It has only four panels meaning fewer seams, eliminating hard spots and, according to Nike, opening up the ball to more sweet spots for players to shoot or pass with greater accuracy.
- Tottenham’s new ground will become the 59th new stadium to host PL football. The first game there is currently scheduled to be their U23 match against Brighton on Monday August 27.
Since the PL began in 1992 a total of 49 clubs have featured in the competition. This season all three of the promoted clubs, Fulham, Cardiff City and Wolves, are returnees. However, there will be some new fixtures – Bournemouth, Brighton and Huddersfield have never played any of the promoted teams in the PL. Cardiff have never met Burnley, Huddersfield, Leicester, Watford or Wolves; Fulham have never met Huddersfield and Wolverhampton have never met Crystal palace, Huddersfield or Watford.
Up to the end of last season 231 managers had been in charge of teams in the PL. For this season the number is increased by four….
- We have Unai Emery
- Fulham have retained Slavisa Jakanovic as their manager – he becomes the first Serbian to manage in the PL
- Wolverhampton have also retained Nuno Espirito Santo, their manager from last year he will be the 10th Portuguese manager in the PL
- Chelsea have swapped managers again, Maurizio Sarri replacing his Italian compatriot Antonio Conte
There are also a three managers returning to the PL
- Manuel Pellegrini (2013/4 Champion with Man City) takes charge of West Ham
- Marco Silva will be in charge of Everton (previously with Hull and Watford)
- Neil Warnock with Cardiff City (previously with Sheffield United, QPR and Crystal Palace)
Now the remaining five innovations…
There is a new system of sanctions for Managers and other staff.
- Every time a referee issues an official, stage one warning to any member of staff in the technical area, the caution will be noted. This will be similar to a yellow card for a player but no card will be shown but they will be informed that a stage-one caution has been issued.
- Sanctions will be subsequently imposed after 4, 8, 12 and 16 warnings to each individual.
Player cautions have also changed
- They will be competition specific and will not count in other competitions so a card in the PL will not affect appearances in cups and vice-versa.
- A player who receives 5 cautions in the PL before the club’s 19th game will receive a one-match suspension to be served in the PL
- Similarly, 10 cautions before the 32nd match will result in a two-match ban again served in the PL.
Looking forward to Sunday.
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