Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe winter break debate - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The winter break debate - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The winter break debate

Boxing Day matches with early kick offs, on crisp winter days with Christmas still tangible in the air. 

New Year’s Day games, with resolutions still fresh in people’s minds, and new hopes for their teams over the next 12 months. 

There isn’t much better, and these Bank Holiday fixtures are among the few occasions that some fans can get to see their team all season due to work commitments. 

Of course there is room for change. 

Less fixtures could be played over Christmas, while still keeping the Boxing and New Year’s Day games. 

Take this season as an example. Rather than four games over the space of 8 days, why not cut that down to the aforementioned two? 

There are other options too.

The domestic cup competitions could be reshaped to lessen the fixture congestion. 

For a start, FA Cup replays could be scrapped. This has already happened for semi-finals, so why not the earlier rounds? 

And why not do away with the Carling Cup for Premier League teams. The major European countries only have one cup competition, and too many top division teams devalue the trophy by playing weakened sides. 

Instead it could be made into a trophy for the Football League akin to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, but encompassing the Championship too. 

While we’re at it, why not look at the structure of the European competitions too. 

Did you know that this season’s Champions League kicked off on June 29, and the Europa League July 1? That was before all of the World Cup Quarter-finals! 

There are too many games being played in the current formats. 

UEFA could reintroduce the old knock-out systems and really freshen things up. 

There would be more exciting games and very few of the dead rubbers that are so frequent now in the later group games. 

Or another option would be to regionalise the competitions. Split Europe into north, south, east and west sectors, similar to the MLS, to cut down on travelling times and aid player recovery. 

But in the hugely commercialised society we find ourselves in today, money is what will dictate the beautiful game in this country. 

As seen by the mooted 39th Premier League fixture, which conflicts with the benefits that a winter break would bring. 

By all means take the Premier League to the rest of the world, but not at the expense of Christmas football – too some, tradition still holds a far greater value than money. 

 Mouth from the South

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