With the nation currently gripped by BLIZZARD MADNESS (a fine covering of snow fluttering in from the east coast), The Premier League, Football League and The FA have chosen an apt time to announce that they have finally agreed in principle to introduce a winter break into the English football calendar.
According to a story broken by The Times this morning, a proposed annual two-week winter break will be observed in early February from the 2019/20 season onwards.
BREAKING: An agreement for an annual two-week winter break in early February has been agreed between the FA, Premier League and Football League. Commencing in the 19/20 season.
— Oliver Bond (@Oliver__Bond) February 27, 2018
The plan will see one ‘game week’ of Premier League fixtures staggered across two weekends (five games on one weekend, five on the next), meaning that all 20 clubs will get a free weekend, effectively 13 days off.
That said, according to Sky Sports, the Football League have already stated that the break will not apply to EFL teams, as they barely have enough time to squeeze in all of their fixtures anyway.
As it stands, the whole thing is dependent on whether The FA will allow all fifth-round FA Cup ties (usually played on the third weekend in February) to be played in midweek, with no replays.
Of course, the whole thing will be rendered entirely moot when Premier League sides simply use the fortnight to squeeze in an extra promotional trip to Indonesia, etc.
This newfound need for a winter break is just another distracting flight of fancy for The FA to explore while they continue to pretend that the real reason England aren’t winning World Cups and European Championships anymore is that English football, from sodden root to glinting tip, has fallen way, way behind the nations now competing in the upper echelon.
That’s a problem that a fortnight off in February is never going to fix.