Following years of discussion, the Premier League and FA have together agreed upon a series of changes that will allow for a two-week winter break in the future.
The FA and Premier League announced a two-week winter break in February, starting in the 2019-2020 season that will still see Premier League games played in that span, with five on the first weekend and five on the second, allowing teams to have their break after their matches.
It doesn’t match the length of winter breaks in Spain, Germany and Italy but it also doesn’t interfere with England’s traditional busy holiday program, which sees teams play on Boxing Day and around New Years in addition to regular weekend fixtures.
As part of the agreement, the FA has agreed to move the fifth round of the FA Cup to midweek while scrapping replays from the fifth round on. Replays will still be around for the earlier rounds, where some of the smaller clubs could earn a return fixture against a giant, earning a massive cash windfall from television and gate receipts.
“This is a significant moment for English football and one that we believe will greatly benefit both club and country,” Martin Glenn, FA chief executive, said in a statement. “It’s no secret that we have a very congested fixture calendar and over recent years we have been working with the whole game to find a solution.
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SOURCE: NBC Sports, Daniel Karell