Could Burton Albion and the EFL observe a winter break next season?

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Burton Albion will not have to observe a winter break next season after EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey ruled out the possibility of the league put on hold over the festive period.

Harvey’s remarks come after the Premier League confirmed that they had been “in discussions” with both the FA and the EFL, but the former Leeds United chief executive is adamant that the frenetic schedule of the EFL makes a winter break completely unfeasible.

“We have been involved in the discussions to start with. The EFL won’t observe a winter break,” Harvey told the BBC.

“We have a 46-game season. We need as many Saturday 3pm kick-offs as possible.

EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey

“The reality is if it is about giving the England internationals a break at the Premier League clubs, we can carry on without negatively impacting on that objective.”

Top-flight clubs could follow in the footsteps of the German Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga and France’s Ligue 1 in taking a break over the festive period.

The Times are reporting that the Premier League have warned broadcasters that a winter break could be introduced before 2022.

A statement from the Premier League read: “The Premier League has been in discussions with the FA and EFL for several months regarding the challenges of the increasingly congested English football calendar, and ways in which we can work together to ease fixture congestion while also giving players a mid-season break.”

Premier League winter football in the snow
Premier League winter football in the snow

“Provided space can be found in the calendar, we are open to this in principle and will continue constructive discussions with our football stake-holders to seek a workable solution.”

The Brewers’ form over the festive period, during which they took 10 points from a possible 15, has kept them in touch with their fellow strugglers according to Nigel Clough.

Albion rode a wave of good form during the Christmas fixtures, recording three consecutive away wins that means they are still just three points from safety despite enduring a barren run of four consecutive defeats since.

The FA have previously said that a winter break is not possible until the current television deal expires next year.

Tom Naylor slides in to celebrate his goal in the 3-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday

An announcement concerning the new deal is anticipated in the next week, with the Premier League seeking an increase on the present £5.14bn agreement that includes 168 live top-flight matches per season – BT hold two packages of matches and Sky Sports five.

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Although it seems possible that the Premier League will come to have a winter break – Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are prominent supporters of the move – there is clearly no chance that the Football League will follow suit.



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