Premier League ‘open’ to idea of winter break

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The debate over whether or not there should be a winter break across English soccer rumbles on.

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On Tuesday the Premier League released statement saying it is “open” to a mid-season break and that they have “been in discussions with the FA and EFL for several months” over how best to structure the busy festive season going forward.

It is believed that any such break would occur in January and it wouldn’t involve losing the sacred Boxing Day fixtures.

Here’s what the Premier League had to say in a statement it released.

“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.”

Why has this topic come to the forefront of discussion once again?

Next week an announcement is expected on who has won the Premier League TV rights in the UK for the 2019-22 window, and the PL, FA and English Football Leagues have been looking at the best way to align their seasons from the 2019-20 campaign onwards.

With leagues across Europe taking a two-week break in December and into early January, how would the English leagues follow suit?

The PL could say they will end games on Dec. 31 and then games could start 10-12 days later with the FA Cup third round action. Would players be given time off? Or would mid-season breaks to warm weather training camps in the USA or elsewhere be lined up with a few friendlies?

There is a lot to sort out here, but the main thing to remember is that the Boxing Day games are going nowhere.