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27th Feb 2018

It’s official! A winter break is coming to the Premier League

Jose Mourinho will be happy

Darragh Murphy

An agreement has been reached to implement a winter break for Premier League teams.

The topic has been one which has been fiercely debated for years, with sides from the rest of Europe’s top leagues enjoying plenty of rest at the midway point of the season.

But the Premier League has held firm up to now due to tradition, as well as the commercial benefits of holding games when the majority of supporters are off work.

However an agreement has officially been reached which will see an annual two-week break take place in early February and it will come into effect in the 2019/20 season.

In order to facilitate the new plans, the fifth round of the FA Cup will be played entirely during a midweek round of fixtures and without replays.

The Times reports that the break will be staggered with five Premier League games being played on one weekend and the other five the following weekend.

The break will not apply to the Championship, League One and League Two but the thinking behind giving every Premier League team a guaranteed 13 days off is that it will benefit the England national team, who will likely have qualified for Euro 2020 at that stage.

Most Premier League managers have cried out for the introduction of a winter break for years, with Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho one of the more vocal advocates.

“It shouldn’t be at Christmas because tradition demands not and tradition plays a role,” Mourinho said last year.

“The commercial point of view is also important, but I would say play the crazy Christmas period but after it has finished, give us a break. Play Boxing Day, play the 28th and the 31st or New Year’s Day. Kill our Christmas and our families’ Christmas.

“I agree with that, but then please let us breathe, let us recover, give the players 10 days off and then we start again.”