The Premier League could go the ‘winter break’ route before 2022 after it was revealed that broadcasters have been warned about a possible change in schedule.
Both the English Football Association (FA) and the Premier League have plans to key to the schedules obtainable with the rest of the top European leagues, and the idea of a winter break has already been mentioned in tender documents for possible broadcast partners.
The outcome of the sale of the domestic TV rights between a three-year period (2019 and 2022) is expected to be announced next week with the Premier League hoping to introduce a winter break in early January before 2022.
Current broadcasters, BT Sport and Sky Sports, are keen to retain their existing live rights and they have been told that a winter break could be added to the calendar after the FA Cup 3rd round, which has a fixed period (first weekend of January).
In addition, the number of televised games will be increasing to 200 matches per season.
The ‘winter break’ topic is not a new one for the FA, Premier League and EFL, however its mention in tender documents means represents the first real suggestion it could be introduced soon.
A statement from the Premier League read: “The Premier League has been in discussions with the FA and EFL for several months regarding the challenges of the increasingly congested English football calendar, and ways in which we can work together to ease fixture congestion while also giving players a mid-season break.”
“Provided space can be found in the calendar, we are open to this in principle and will continue constructive discussions with our football stakeholders to seek a workable solution.” the statement added.