Winter Break is needed!
Updated Tuesday, 21st December 2010
Over the last few weeks freezing temperatures has forced football matches up and down the Country to be postponed; even at powerhouses such as Chelsea and Liverpool have seen fixtures cancelled due to the weather.
Whilst United have been lucky to see only one fixture so far this season fall victim to the weather now a days it isn’t the lack of under soil heating that causes games to be called off, majority of the time the surrounding areas of the ground are deemed unsafe for fans and games are postponed.
Over the Christmas and New Year period the Blades face a home game against Hull City along with two away fixtures at Norwich City and Burnley, with the current climate there is a good chance that one of these fixtures could be postponed due to the freezing temperatures.
But after only one weekend why call for a winter break? Going into the bottom two tiers of the Football League and these matches are regularly cancelled as due to low budgets they simply can’t meet the demands of under soil heating and for the last fortnight have hardly seen any action on the pitch.
Less can be said for Sheffield Wednesday, who in their last two away games saw their game played out due to opposition fans lending a hand and saving the fixture at the final hour; these didn’t do the Owls any favours as they went down at Swindon Town (2-1) and Exeter City (5-1).
The lower league teams face the problem of a fixture pile up having already playing extra fixtures having to join the FA Cup at an early round as well as the ‘prestigious’ Football League Trophy causing at least two extra fixtures to be played.
It would therefore surely be of advantage that for these two lower leagues to extend the season by at most 10 to 14 days to allow for such a break, these teams (including the Blades) rarely see players called up for World Cup or European Championship duties so therefore wouldn’t affect the players in that way.
I would hope that the Football Association of England and the Football League are taking note of all these cancellations and are thinking of a way around this!
Going back to the npower Championship and Swansea City fans were unfortunate not to see Ched Evans goal last weekend as a predicted 1,500 spectators (travelling by coach) were turned around at Birmingham, leaving just a pitiful away following of just 500 against a 17,496 crowed.
In fact (as mentioned in our match report against the Swans) the last home game before Christmas is traditionally a no show for football fans, no doubt the cold weather and the spending of presents to send to Santa effects people’s choice in not attending the matches.
Admittedly the top so called four teams in the Premier League may struggle to fulfil fixtures if a winter break was included in the top flight, with so many teams who enter into the Europa League and UEFA Champions League playing so many fixtures along with the likely hood that they reach the finals of the League and FA Cup; teams could possibly be playing 60+ games a season.
Having said that, these are the things you need to do – but one top manager; Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) has been calling for such a break for a long time. And in the past few days has quoted; “That [the heat in Qatar] is a big problem,” said Wenger. “They have spoken about maybe having the World Cup in the winter. Why not? I’m not against that at all. But I think overall, in the whole world, football should be played between February and November, and then you could organize it for winter.”
For a manager with such credential, surely the authorities must take note and at least trial these breaks out.
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