Winter Break Continues To Rear Its Head

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The idea of a Winter Break in English top flight football is hardly a new idea but recent talks over its introduction are now said to have been ‘constructive’.

The BBC reported extremely late last night that they understood that a Winter Break is now being seriously considered for introduction when the new television rights packages are agreed.

Talks about such an idea to bring us more into line with the top leagues across Europe – Germany, France, Spain and Italy – already enjoy a mini break during the more, shall we say challenging weeks of the weather, and it has long been suggested that the England national team would gain greater success over our rivals if we took a step in that direction and didn’t push players through winter.

It must be said England might have more chance if they could perform, pass to each other and take penalties for balance.

However, back to the point.

With discussions about a Winter Break having been held for the last several months, those ongoing talks are believed to have been constructive and it’s only a matter of time before a formal agreement is made and the expectation is it will become a joint announcement with the new television deal, given further changes that will bring to the Premier League as cash continues to be chased and remains the primary driver.

Such a break wouldn’t be in December, so the traditional festive crush of fixtures for fans wouldn’t be effect, but the break would take place in January with the presumption being it would come into play after what is now becoming a New Year’s Day of fixtures spread over 2-4 days to suit the cameras.

With the television deal announcement expected somepoint next week, a provision for a Winter Break was included in the tender documents that were sent to broadcasters, so clearly it’s on the cards for 2019/22.

A Premier League statement read.

‘The Premier League has been in discussions with the FA and EFL for several months regarding the challenges of the increasingly congested English football calendar and ways in which we can work together to ease fixture congestion while also giving players a mid-season break. Provided space can be found in the calendar, we are open to this in principle and will continue constructive discussions with our football stakeholders to seek a workable solution.’

Looks like the game is set for another major change where clubs themselves may not in fact be the ones to benefit the most.

There’s bound to be a mixed reaction to this as there are strong proponents of a Winter Break in the top flight, just as there are for not tampering with club football to suit England’s international dreams.

If there’s a Winter Break though, that means fixtures to catch up on so do players (and fans based on the performances put in) gain if the season continues to have its normal end date or do we extend the season to avoid a January crush of fixtures and simply move it to April or May.

With FIFA’s illogical selections for venues for competitions and the introduction of what seems like a Marvel and DC inspired Nations League that will further override the desires of clubs, could the Premier League cope with a Winter Break whilst being forced to end a campaign sharpish again in the future when there’s a World Cup to start?

I’m sure the good Vital Community will have spotted further benefits and potential pitfalls of their own – comment away if you’d be so kind as I’d love to know initial reactions to this idea.


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