There has been talk recently of the Premier League introducing a winter break as soon as 2020, which is just two years away. No official plans have been made, but the topic has been introduced and has done its rounds in the media as of late. It’s a good job I’m here to sort this out for you.
For years now, the Premier League – England’s top division – has run without a winter break; going against all the other major leagues in Europe.
In fact, over in Germany the teams competing in the Bundesliga enjoy a break of thirty days – although it is worth considering their league only features eighteen teams, meaning there are four less fixtures to play every season.
Ligue 1 in France, La Liga in Spain and the Serie A in Italy also enjoy winter breaks, usually between the length of two and three weeks.
In defence of the Premier League not adopting such a strategy we have always said it is what makes the league the best in the world. Fans of the Premier League love to say this, and why wouldn’t they? In my opinion the Christmas schedule – whilst hectic on the players – is absolutely fantastic. There are lots of games under the lights or the low sun, and you always have some sort of football to enjoy with your time off. Otherwise it would just be boring, right?
However, I ran a poll on my personal Twitter account (@haydenbarry1997 – shameless plug) and the vast majority claimed that the Premier League would benefit from a winter break. It received a mere thirteen votes, but seventy seven per cent were in favour of the proposition. Only three people said no.
So whilst this is not an exact science, we can now say that the people do want to see it. Personally, I don’t want to see it. But if the England national team want to be anywhere near half as good as they seem to expect to be, the decision will work in their favour if it was to go ahead. I can’t remember the last time a player outside the Premier League featured for them.
Let me ask you this. When was the last time you saw a Premier League player light up an international tournament? I’ll leave you to think about that one.
A break will recharge players and help avoid injuries.
However, talk has been of a winter break being introduced in February. Without wanting to be over dramatic, this would be absolutely pointless.
Why would the players endure the intense Christmas schedule, get back to normal in January and then go for a break in February? This would also put English sides at a disadvantage against their foreign rivals in the Champions League knockout stages. Like it or not, football is a business these days and implementing a break in February would be a heavy shot in the foot.
The only way it would work for me would be to mirror the system adopted by leagues abroad. This would mean kissing goodbye to our beloved festive football feast. I know.
Would a winter break be good or bad for the Premier League? Of course, only time will tell. But I do believe the Premier League would benefit if it was to feature a winter break. However, it is somewhat of a double edged sword because whilst this would be good for the national side and player fitness, the League would lose one of its most unique features – if a break was to be scheduled in December. It definitely would not stop me watching though.
The people of Twitter have already spoken, but I’d love to see what you have to say about this. Let me know.
featured image credit Metro