I have never really understood why we have been so desperate for a winter break in England, but one has now been agreed for the Premier League in 2018/19.
Winter is about football, summer about cricket.
Going up north in the wind, rain, cold and snow is what football is about. Keeping yourself warm on the terraces, ensuring you have had enough beers to battle against the cold pre-game. And getting back to the warm boozer post-game is rewarding.
Clubs have pushed for a winter break under the guise that it will enable sides to perform better in Europe in the second half of the season, and that will give England a better chance of success at major tournaments.
The reality is they just want to go on money spinning mid-season tours to Dubai or America. Australia or Singapore.
From the looks of it, the break is only actually going to give teams a single weekend off – so two weeks in total.
The break in February will be staggered across two weeks, with five matches on the first weekend and five the following weekend.
The FA Cup fifth round will also be moved to midweek to accommodate the break, with replays being scrapped at that stage – it will just be the beginning of all FA Cup’s being played mid week
They moan about the magic of the FA Cup diminishing, then do this crap.
What are odds that clubs will go to Dubai for their weekend off, and play each other?
It just seems a load of rubbish.
The transfer window shuts 8 weeks today.
Despite us still being a week away from the World Cup starting, we are already in the final month countdown for English clubs to sign players. The deadline being at 5pm on Thursday August 9th.
This is due to Premier League clubs voting to close the window at before the first match of the 2018/19 season.
Fifa rules dictate the window must be open for 12 weeks which has meant the date clubs could start to sign players was also been brought forward.
In a move designed to end disruption and allow clubs to focus on their football, Premier League clubs agreed to close the summer transfer window before the start of the 2018-19 season.
The change came after a number of Premier League managers and club officials complained about the negative impact of transfer uncertainty and speculation on their players. Diego Costa, Philippe Coutinho and Virgil van Dijk were just four of a list of players who did not play for their clubs as they pursued exits.
14 Premier League clubs voted for the window to shut before the season starts, starting this season.
Clubs in Europe did not follow the Premier League’s lead (although I suspect that they will), meaning that transfer windows in Spain, France, Germany and Italy will all remain open to the end of the month.
This creates a situation where they can sign players from English clubs, but English clubs will not be able to sign replacements.
It will create an interesting stand-off.
With the World Cup final on July 15th, English clubs will have just 3 weeks from then to the beginning of the new season to negotiate signings. It makes this tight and could result in a lot of deals for players who are not at the World Cup.