Premier League in talks to introduce winter break with next TV deal
The Premier League is considering the introduction of a midseason winter break, but will need to wait until the current television rights agreement expires in 2019, BBC Sport's Dan Roan reports.
The traditional holiday fixtures would not be affected by this new schedule, but a break would be taken in January, as is done in top European leagues in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
A midseason break allows players to recuperate and take on the second half of the season with fresher legs, but the Premier League carries on play right as the new year's bell is rung, much to the disdain of managers across England.
In a statement issued by the Premier League, details of a change in plans could give those sideline tacticians renewed hope:
"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," the league wrote.
"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."
Many managers have expressed displeasure with the current schedule in English football, but Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho seemed most aggrieved, telling beIN Sports in January: "I believe you (television networks) make the decisions, but I also believe that some clubs or some managers have good friends in the right chairs and I don't have them."
He had previously outlined all the ways in which Manchester United's schedule this season was tougher than those of his peers, though Mourinho is not alone in pointing out that the congestion of fixtures has been a challenging obstacle. Chelsea's Antonio Conte was a little more diplomatic in expressing that point:
"Every team has this type of situation. But from start of the season, I don't know, I see only Chelsea to have this type of situation," he said, as quoted by the Independent. "I don't want advantages. If we have to play every two days, I'm ready. But we need to have the same rest as our opponents."
Perhaps soon they will.