Premier League considers winter break move

The Premier League is considering introducing a winter break into the English football season.

Talks have been held with the Football Association (FA) and English Football League (EFL) amid criticism from managers about fixture congestion.

The move would bring English football in line with other top leagues in Europe, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, which all have winter breaks.

It is understood a break in January has been discussed which would avoid impacting England’s traditional festive football schedule.

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola recently said the number of matches over Christmas was “going to kill” players, while Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho claimed the lack of a winter break was hampering English clubs’ chances in the Champions League.

The FA has previously said a winter break is not feasible until the end of the current TV rights deal, which runs out in 2019.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on the touchline during the Premier League match at The Ethiad Stadium

Image: Pep Guardiola said the busy festive schedule was ‘going to kill’ players

The proposal is reportedly referred to in tender documents sent to broadcasters ahead of the next Premier League TV rights deal covering 2019 to 2022, which is expected to be announced next week.

The current £5.14bn three-year deal, which began in the 2016/17 season, sees most of the broadcast games screened by Sky, the owner of Sky News, and some by BT.

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A Premier League spokesman said: “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.

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