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Do we need a winter break in the football league?

edited February 2012 in General Charlton
Of our 28 league games so far this season we have had 3 midweek league games- Colchester away back in August, MK Dons away in September and Wycombe away in October. I won't count the Huddersfield game as that was originally scheduled for the Saturday.

After today's postponement, in February and March alone we will have 5 Tuesday games. The postponements we've seen are a financial burden on both the clubs (police/stewarding costs etc) and the fans (no refunds on train tickets, unable to make rescheduled games).

Would it not be sensible to have some time off during winter, not to give the players a rest, but to avoid this fixture pile up and inconvenience for all concerned? There were plenty of Tuesdays earlier in autumn we could've used for the games played over the winter period, and we would not end up with a scenario where teams who are not having their games postponed are at an advantage as they won't have this fixture congestion.

Of course there is the argument that people wouldn't want to lose the traditional Christmas games. And it would be hard to decide exactly when a winter break should be. But is it something that should be considered?
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Comments

  • edited February 2012
    Well we've had one for two weeks running now. What do you want, another break? When would that be? This is England, our weather is not the most predictable in the world, we could have a cold snap at any time between early November and late February.
  • in principle a good idea but it wouldn't work as you can't tell (preseason when fixtures announced) when the bad weather will be. It can be -5+ and snowy anytime from December through to early march!!

    You can't shut down for three months, personally can see FIFA changing Europes season and becoming a summer sport ala rugby league, would also mean more likely to have word cups in other global locations (like the farce in the middle east coming up)
  • Under no circumstances.

    No no no no.
  • No. if we'd taken last years seasons into account we'd have had the break this season in early December and been even further behind.
  • Why is it that every time a game gets called off this old chestnut gets brought out?

    How many of our games have been postponed because of snow/frozen pitches in the past 10 years? And when were they in the year?

    If anyone would care to work that out then you'll see that there is just no case for a winter break in this country.



  • No IMHO. Bit of fixture congestion adds to the spice and flavour of an English football season. Do feel for travelling fans with ticket refund issues but I'm afraid it was ever thus. Perhaps train companies could be put under pressure by football authorities and other stakeholders to have special football match train tickets which are reusable for a specific match or refundable subject to admin fee. Just a thought and surely not beyond the realms of possibility ?
  • No, non, nein, niet, nai, ni, nem, nee, ikke.
  • A winter break would be fixed for january with games restarting in february. Erm what date is it?
  • No IMHO. Bit of fixture congestion adds to the spice and flavour of an English football season. Do feel for travelling fans with ticket refund issues but I'm afraid it was ever thus. Perhaps train companies could be put under pressure by football authorities and other stakeholders to have special football match train tickets which are reusable for a specific match or refundable subject to admin fee. Just a thought and surely not beyond the realms of possibility ?
    This is surely the way forward. Except that buying train tickets is one of the biggest nightmares in the whole of Christendom without another level of complication added to it (seriously, I think it's a great idea, but can't see it happening somehow).
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  • No, as others have said, you can't predict when it's going to be cold enough to cause postponements with any kind of certainty. What would make more sense would be to make the season a bit longer, and keep FA Cup weekends free for the entire league throughout the competition when the fixtures are published. That way, teams who did well in the competition (and those who were due to be playing them on Cup days) wouldn't have to rearrange matches scheduled on Cup days. Matches that had been postponed earlier in the season due to bad weather could then be rearranged to be played on Cup days.

    It's not a perfect solution, as the later the cold snap is the shorter notice you'd have for rearrangements, but that's true now anyway.
  • No IMHO. Bit of fixture congestion adds to the spice and flavour of an English football season. Do feel for travelling fans with ticket refund issues but I'm afraid it was ever thus. Perhaps train companies could be put under pressure by football authorities and other stakeholders to have special football match train tickets which are reusable for a specific match or refundable subject to admin fee. Just a thought and surely not beyond the realms of possibility ?
    This is surely the way forward. Except that buying train tickets is one of the biggest nightmares in the whole of Christendom without another level of complication added to it (seriously, I think it's a great idea, but can't see it happening somehow).
    I actually started looking this morn if an insurance company does insurance on public transport use when used to get to cancalled events ie football/holidays/concerts etc..... I need a money making idea and actually have a product I actually believe in to sell!!

    I'm pretty sure most ppl would pay an extra couple of quid on long journeys when booked in advance to these types of things, paying a £5 extra on your ticket and then able to get a reissued ticket/credit note for future travel.
  • edited February 2012
    It is inevitable that the second half of the season will get postponements either from the weather or teams progressing in the cup.

    The villain of the piece IMO is the original fixture list, with midweek matches already thickly scheduled for March and April. Squeezing in re-arranged games in the few spaces means many teams are playing twice a week almost every week for the remainder of the season - the infamous fixture pile up.

    Either more midweek fixtures should be scheduled to be played during the front half of the season or the FL divisions reduced to 22 clubs.....perhaps allowing for the Conference League or whatever it's called, to officially become League Three (which in effect it is already).

    And make the useless Johnsons Paint Trophy a competition only for those knocked out of the League Cup.

  • 3 things for me

    1 - Winter breaks don't work in this country cause the bad weather can hit from November to March, so when is the break
    2 - Better investment in pitch covers/undersoil heating
    3 - Allow clubs the option, or at least review the ban on artificial surfaces.
  • It would never work and it would never happen.
  • A mid season break to rest players then maybe.

    A winter break to avoid harsh weather wouldn't work for the reasons given above ie which two or four week period do you choose.

    Having leagues of 23 teams doesn't help but there is little that can be done about that without kicking some times out or creating a 5th league.
  • If you can work out exactly when there'll be bad weather before the season starts, yes, otherwise no. With a 46 game plus season there's not time to give players a break.

    What I cannot understand is why they don't play more games in the first part of the year.
  • If you have a winter break you might as well wipe out 3 months of the season.
  • If you had a winter break then when would you do it?? You could have the break and still have games called off as they are now.
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  • edited February 2012

    What I cannot understand is why they don't play more games in the first part of the year.
    I think that is definitely an area that the league should look at.

    Getting rid of the Johnstone's Tinpot Trophy and playing league games in those midweeks would be my first move.

    No replays in the first couple of FA Cup rounds would free up more midweeks for league action. That's got to be worth a look, too.

  • No way should we have abreak in the season,that is what English football is about.As for the FA Cup i am still for replays,giving the clubs a second bite of the cherry.With you on Johnson paints but down to the club to pull out of this as it gives smaller clubs a chance of a big day out in the final.
    Take a look at european countys having abreak from Christmas through to mid January when the freeze sets in.does not help much when during that time you can play games because the weather is mild but during the first two weeks in Febuary it is -20c and games still not played.
    End of the day we are what makes English football GREAT a season which runs from AUG TO MAY and people in europe just want to watch english football be it in person or on the tv.
  • I'm all for a winter break but when would you have it? If we'd had it at Christmas this season then that would've resulted in no football for say 2-3 weeks and then the same again in February.

    The way round this in my opinion, is to have no winter break and for all the leagues to play more midweek games in the first 3-4 months of the season and finish in April. This would then give players plenty of time to rest ahead of international tournaments in the summer.
  • Well we've had one for two weeks running now. What do you want, another break? When would that be? This is England, our weather is not the most predictable in the world, we could have a cold snap at any time between early November and late February.
    i agree. to unpredictable.
  • Same answer as a lot of people, just when are we going to have the winter break? Over the last 3 years we have had bad weather between late nov and early feb. A winter break won't work I'm afraid.
  • edited February 2012
    Winters over the last decade or so haven't really been too bad...........last winter was pretty exceptional....and this winter thus far hasn't been that bad really.
    No, IMHO we don't need a winter break, unlike central and Eastern Europe and of course Scandinavia.
  • as people have said above can't predict when the bad weather will be so a winter break is a bad idea, it could often be counter-productive, more games in the autumn and perhaps schedule a March date game for playing postponents.

    As for pitch covers, didn't so Ipswich much good today when really cold!
  • Three month winter break? Great idea if you like summer football
  • Just make football a summer sport.
  • The only trouble is the weather is still shit in the summer.
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