Premier League 'Open' to Mid-Season Break Amid Ongoing Fixture Congestion

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2018

/Getty Images

The Premier League has revealed it is in discussions about introducing a potential mid-season break to the calendar in the English top flight.

Per Sky Sports Newsthe Football Association and the English Football League have been in talks about the idea, and the Premier League released a statement on Tuesday outlining the situation regarding a potential winter hiatus:

"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."

There have been calls for some time for the Premier League to mimic La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga by introducing a winter break.

Jason Burt of the Telegraph wrote in 2016 that the medical argument for its introduction is "indisputable," while he suggested the fortnight following January's FA Cup third-round fixtures as the potential window. 

It would certainly seem a sensible idea given that the traditional and much-loved Boxing Day and New Year matches make for an incredibly packed schedule every festive season, per BBC Sport.

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola reacts on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Manchester City at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on February 3, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRI
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Each December and January there are complaints from managers about congestion and the impact it has on players at a crucial stage of the season.

The most galling factor is often that there is no respite after the intense festive schedule, and it has been regularly noted that playing in the Premier League seems to hinder performances at major international tournaments, per Henry Winter in the Times.

The Premier League's latest announcement on the matter will therefore likely be welcomed in many quarters as a winter break becomes an increasingly likely possibility.   

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