The Football Association is making some changes in its schedule, much to players’ delight. Everybody knows, most of all punters using betting apps, that footballers are playing too many games. That’s why the officials of the Premier League decided to introduce a two-weekend break in February.
However, we must note that these two weekends don’t apply to all teams. In fact, the FA will split teams into two groups, with half of the teams resting during one weekend, and the other half during the second one. On top of that, the FA will move the Cup fifth-round matches, probably to midweek dates, while they will drop replays entirely.
The reason why the FA introduced this break is that of a recent FIFPro survey. FIFPro asked Premier League players if they play too many games during a season. To no one's surprise, 90% of them answered positively and stated that they need more breaks.
And, indeed, the Premier League clubs are playing many more games than other European clubs. The PL schedule is stacked with most games being played in December and January. Even some managers expressed their discontent with the schedule. Pep Guardiola, for instance, said that the winter schedule is “killing” his players. Jose Mourinho also tacked on and said that the packed schedule was hurting clubs in the Champions League. Finally, Richard Scudamore greeted the new change, and even went on to say that the break “will greatly benefit the club and country.”
However, some managers don’t feel like the clubs are overexerting their players. For example, Arsene Wenger said that it would be disappointing if the organisation introduces a new break. His team played six games in the past 19 days during the December-January period, and he felt they were doing okay.
Nevertheless, the FA decision stands. The new break will be introduced in the next season, whether the managers like it or not. What kind of effect will this new change have on players and clubs? Well, we’ll have to wait for the next season to begin.