Premier League 'open' to introducing winter break in English football

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Talks have been ongoing for several months, and are understood to have been constructive.

The Premier League could soon fall into line with the rest of Europe by introducing a winter break in the near future, an exclusive in The Times claims.

The prospect of a break has been touted to occur around the turn of the year - a surefire way to appease football fans who see the traditional festive fixture list as a "keep at all costs" scenario.

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League officials have also considered freeing up the two weekends after the third round of the FA Cup, but such a change would only work for the Premier League as the second, third and fourth tiers of English football need every weekend available in order to complete their respective fixtures.

The most galling factor is often that there is no respite after the intense festive schedule, and it has been regularly noted that playing in the Premier League seems to hinder performances at major worldwide tournaments, per Henry Winter in the Times.

However, as discussions over the next deal - thought to be getting announced in mid-February - continue to take place, positive talks have been held ahead of the next three-year rights package.

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If Gareth Southgate's men crash out of this summer's World Cup in the group stage, you can expect another clamour for a winter break.

That deal runs until 2019 with negotiations already under way.

Louis van Gaal described playing through the English winter as "evil" during his tenure as Manchester United manager. Jose Mourinho said the lack of a break was hampering English clubs' hopes in the Champions League. In London, Jack Austin reported the current broadcasting deal expires in '19 and the FA "has previously said that a winter break like those in Germany, France, Italy and Spain is not feasible until then".

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German football enjoyed the longest stretch without a game this season - 22 days.

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