English Premier League mulls winter break to emulate Europe

Manchester United Bournemouth

Manchester United Bournemouth

Clues to the possibility of having the winter break could emerge when the league announces the next round of TV rights next week.

While the rest of Europe have a winter break, England has a long and proud tradition of playing football over the festive season, as well as starting with the the FA Cup third round early in the new year.

This would bring the Premier League into line with numerous other big European leagues that give their teams a similar mid-winter break, although it's down to the money men to ultimately decide. The FA "has also raised the issue in its own TV contracts, with the governing body willing to sacrifice some FA Cup replays to create space for more Premier League midweek fixtures".

Others, such as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, are resistant to a winter break being implement however, while England manager Gareth Southgate believes a break would allow his stars to be fitter in a bid to try and end their 51-year wait for an worldwide trophy.

That deal runs until 2019 with negotiations already under way.

On Tuesday the Premier League released statement saying it is "open" to a mid-season break and that they have "been in discussions with the FA and EFL for several months" over how best to structure the busy festive season going forward. In London, Jack Austin reported the current broadcasting deal expires in '19 and the FA "has previously said that a winter break like those in Germany, France, Italy and Spain is not feasible until then".

Speaking in November, he said: "I always say the Champions League only starts in February, and in February, the English teams are after December and January where we can play 20 matches over two months and the Germans, the French, the Spanish, the Italians, they all come from a winter break".

It is believed that any such break would occur in January and it wouldn't involve losing the sacred Boxing Day fixtures.

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