Last week the FA/Premier League/EFL announced the introduction of a winter break in English football for the first time, commencing from the start of the 2019/20 season.
Due to take place in February with a two week winter break seeing a round of Premier League games split over two weekends with the FA Cup 5th round -remember that? – moving to a midweek .5th round replays will be scrapped to be replaced with extra time and penalties to accommodate the change.
Interesting to see that whilst the FA pressed ahead with its plan to introduce the winter break the research from Football Supporters Federation (FSF) carried out in its 2016 survey as part of its ‘Whole Game Solution’ showed that match going fans were largely opposed to its introduction-37% being ‘absolutely opposed’ to a winter break, 24 % being ‘broadly opposed’ to the idea.
An FSF spokesman said; ‘we are disappointed that supporters views have been outweighed by other factors in the decision’.
Whatever your view-for or against a winter break- there’s no doubt that moving the fifth round to mid -week will create potential travel issues for supporters…as if we don’t have enough already!….and how long before clubs embark on lucrative winter break ‘tours’? One to watch .