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FA chief plays down chance of winter break until 2019

Football Association (FA) chief executive Martin Glenn

A winter break in the Premier League season is not feasible until the current three-year television rights deal is completed in 2019, the Football Association’s (FA) chief executive Martin Glenn has said.

Newly appointed England manager Sam Allardyce, in his first press conference, backed the need for a winter break similar to the top divisions in France, Italy, Spain and Germany, to help players recuperate.

“It would help the Premier League and us at international level if we could achieve that,” Allardyce said.

“January and February is always the most difficult time to get players through.”

However, Glenn said that though the FA favoured a mid-season break, it would not be possible until the over 5 billion pounds worth TV rights deal, which starts this season, was in effect.

“If we are going to get a winter break, which the FA very much wants, it would be after the current Premier League TV-rights deal is done,” Glenn told British media.

“There is a consensus that it would be a good thing to do. I’ll say no more than that.

“We can do our bit about fixture congestion and that’s why from the quarter-finals (of the FA Cup this season) we’re not going to replays.”

Glenn also hinted that the timing of the break may be pushed back to January.

“What scared people about winter breaks in the past is the thought of it being between Boxing Day and new year but it doesn’t have to be then.

“It can be after the FA Cup third round in mid-January.”

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