sports: Premier League to introduce winter break following talks with Football Association
The Premier League is set to follow the rest of Europe’s top leagues and introduce a winter break.
According to a report in The Times, following talks between the Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and the Football Association, an agreement has been reached over a two-week break every February, starting from the 2019/2020 season.
It means clubs will have an extended recovery period after a bust Christmas schedule, ahead of the resumption of European fixtures.
The move will also see the entire fifth round of the FA Cup being played during the week, and without replays.
The break is said to be staggered, with five Premier League games being held on one weekend and the other five on the following weekend.
The idea is to give Premier League clubs at least 13 days off without a match.
It is claimed it will also benefit the England team, with players having a mid-season rest before Euro 2020 and future World Cups.
The EFL took part in the negotiations, but the winter break will reportedly NOT apply to Championship, League One and League Two teams, with the 46-game schedule for each division giving them less flexibility than the top flight.
All of Europe’s other ‘top five’ leagues in Germany, Spain, France and Italy have a mid-season break of between 11 and 22 days.