The English Premier League season kicks off this weekend, with the country's biggest club Manchester United once again entering a new era. A dismal campaign last season saw the Red Devils finish 7<sup>th and miss out on European football for the first time in 24 years. David Moyes, the man chosen to replace Sir Alex Ferguson, was sacked after only 10 months in charge.

But there is renewed confidence in the red half of Manchester, with the appointment of Dutch boss Louis van Gaal, and the announcement in July of a record breaking £750m 10 year kit deal with Adidas from next season.

Sean Hamill, director of the Sport Business Centre at London's Birkbeck College, says that with Manchester United's recent troubles, Adidas' ten year deal could prove a risky investment.

"Adidas are taking a gamble that actually United will reassert itself," he said.

"We already know from Scudamore's comments early in the year that he feels that the Premier League has diminished as a brand with a weaker Manchester United. So all the commercial people, the sponsors and the league, they need in order for their business models to have a strong Manchester United."