Winter Break: 2019-20 Premier League season set for ‘split-weekend’ off
Written by: Rohan Philip
This comes after many appeals from the EPL clubs but the only worry is the FA Cup fifth round.
The English Football Association has announced that they will be introducing a winter break to the regular Premier League season, initially for the 2019-2020 season. This decision comes after several years of appeals from foreign managers to introduce the concept that is followed in all of Europe's major leagues. It allows for the players to get a period of rest before the gruelling second half of the season and the latter stages of European competitions.
The winter break will be enforced in the 2019-2020 season when the new TV deals are carried out as the new agreement makes it possible for the addition of a winter break. The break will take place in February 2020 and will be split to avoid for a complete break in Premier League action.
Five games will take place in the first week of the break while half of the teams will enjoy a two-week long break. The teams playing in the first week of the break will subsequently be given the next weekend off.
Fans of the English game will be glad to know that the packed festive season will remain, with the traditions of Boxing Day and New Year’s Day being carried on. All clubs are guaranteed a minimum of 13 days off, which is the same duration of winter breaks offered in Spain and Italy.
The new break will not be implemented on the rest of the divisions of English football, to avoid fixture crowding with the Championship having 46 rounds of fixtures in comparison to the Premier League’s 38.
The FA Cup fifth round will not be permitted a replay to make space for the extra weekend occupied by Premier League football. The FA will not allow for Premier League sides to play high-profile friendlies during the winter break.
The winter break signals an evolution of the English game. We last saw a significant change in the league with the introduction of football on Friday nights, a concept that has sat reasonably well with the English fans. It remains to be seen how the latest introduction will be received.
Published: Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:02 PM IST