A winter break may soon become a reality in English Football as the FA, Premier League and EFL are understood to be close to an agreement.
The prospect has been discussed over recent years, and Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner certainly favours the idea, believing it will be beneficial for the players, among everyone involved with the clubs.
What would a winter break mean?
The break is set to be introduced in the 2019-20 campaign and would take place over the months of January and February so as not to disrupt the British culture of having football in and around Christmas time.
It will mean a round of Premier League games will be played over a fortnight period – allowing teams a break and chance to recover from the gruelling pressure of the campaign.
The break would also see the FA Cup Fifth Round action played as mid-week games, which would go to extra time and penalties rather than a replay if required – further freeing up a team’s schedule.
Teams on a break would also be able to travel abroad for a mid- season training camp.
Break would benefit everyone
When the talks of a winter break first emerged in 2016, Wagner was asked about the benefits it could have on sides, and he believed it could be a good thing for both him and his players if they want to perform at their highest level.
“I think from the physical side and the mental side this winter break makes sense," he said. "It would benefit myself and my players at the end of the season. I think if you work ten months in a row, the performance at the end of the ten months is not as high.”
Injuries have become more and more apparent with the modern game and anything that could potentially minimise this is, as expected, welcomed by the German.
“If you play for five months and then four months, you don’t have to study sports science to see this is better than playing the whole ten months,” he commented.
Need to keep the British Culture
If a break was to be introduced it may cause disruption in the culture of British football, as games are typically played on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – allowing fans to come together.
The head coach believes if this winter break is to occur, then it must be over the months that have been mentioned by the FA officials, rather than over the Christmas period to allow this culture to remain.
“I think is makes sense, but again it’s a different culture and I respect and like Boxing Day and the idea of being together at a football ground," he admitted.
“If you want to keep the culture and you want to have a break, maybe you have the break at the beginning of January and not over the actual month of Christmas,” he concluded.