A two-week winter break planned for the 2019-20 season in the Premier League seems to be edging closer to becoming a reality.
According to The Times, a deal has been agreed in principle between the English Football Association and Premier League for teams to have a 13 day break in early February each year.
The plan is said to be for this to kick in for February 2020.
Crucially, there would be no weekend off for the PL but 10 games will be spread out across two weekends, with 10 teams playing one weekend, then the other 10 teams playing the weekend after with each team guaranteed 13 days off.
All of this centers around the FA moving all of the FA Cup fifth round games to a midweek, with no replays, which is now the case for quarterfinals, semifinals and the final.
It is hoped that a two-week break will help safeguard PL players from exhaustion with England’s top-flight the only current major league in Europe which doesn’t have a winter break.
The FA also seem to be hoping that by moving the FA Cup dates they will also help out the English national team who, if they qualify, will play in the 2020 European Championships a few months later with both the semifinals and finals on home soil at Wembley Stadium.
There is a lingering notion that clubs may well use the 13-day break to travel overseas, potentially to the USA, China and the Middle East, to play in lucrative friendly games during training camps, but there seems to be a genuine acceptance from everyone involved that a winter break in the PL is a good idea.
The staggered scheduling of games is also a very smart way to ensure there’s not a full two week break from action. After years of debate, it finally appears a winter break is close to fruition.