There probably haven’t been too many sleepless nights about this, but the new football for this season’s Premier League has been unveiled. The Nike T90 Ascente has been released with a typical Nike flourish, promising such marketing guff as “Micro-textured surface [which] equalizes airflow increasing accuracy and ball control”. Pondering over the pitch, however, it took a few minutes for what it actually looks like to sink in, and then it did. There is something curiously apt about the Premier League choosing a white version of a planet that can destroy other planets.

Of course, in amongst the usual nonsense about how this is the ultimate football and will guarantee to make the Premier League approximately 11% more exciting, the real reason for this new design isn’t mentioned. The real reason for the new design is to shift replicas in sports shops, all of which makes it more curious that, at the time of writing, a yellow version to be used once the winter months kick in hasn’t yet been made public. Could it be that the Premier League is going to end the tradition of making clubs switch to a yellow ball when the clocks go forward?

As an aside, the LFP in Spain and have Serie A in Italy will also have their own versions of this ball too. The Spanish version (the same except with the patterning in black rather than blue) looks even more like the Death Star than the Premier League version does. In England though, we can look forward to a new season packed with “a better flight through the air and a deadlier finish”, “Evolved performance graphic provides vision enhanced ball tracking from all areas of the pitch” and a “perfect 360 degree sweet spot engineered to give consistency on all points of the ball”. Make of this what you wish.

Twohundredpercent will be away for the weekend now. Feel free to keep leaving your messages, though they probably won’t show on the site until Sunday evening at the earliest. In particular, we have been very touched by the messages of support for John Hartson which have shown an almost surprising depth of the feeling for the big man. We continue to wish him all the best as he continues his fight.