So there you have it, Newcastle United fans will now be ‘enjoying’ a 21 days Spring break.

No football for fully three weeks.

After their Tuesday night victory over Rochdale, Tottenham made an official announcement that the Newcastle game on Friday 16 March was now postponed, instead they will be at Swansea on Saturday 17 March for a 6th round FA Cup game.

As I wrote earlier this week (see below), the introduction of a Winter break in the Premier League season is purely about the elite teams.

Pandering to the handful of clubs at the top, who fancy a 13 day break for their players before the next stage of the Champions League kicks in.

As for Newcastle United, they are due to be at Liverpool this Saturday (3 March) and then home to Southampton the following weekend (10 March) with now three weeks of no football until Huddersfield at home on 31 March.

This is to also accommodate a two week international break.

As you never know when bad weather can hit in the UK, you could end up having the 13 day Winter (February) break and then if you have weather like we are experiencing now, into March, you could even seen Premier League games postponed, before then heading into the international break that is usually scheduled for March.

It doesn’t exactly make me wish Newcastle were back in the Championship…but at least you get regular football/a lot of games.

From 25 February to 30 March last season, Newcastle had six Championship matches, now we are set for just two Premier League ones in the same time period (everything crossed that the weather doesn’t interfere with Liverpool on Saturday).

As for that Tottenham match, if Spurs continue their involvement in the Champions League and FA Cup, there are very few options to fit in a midweek match until very late on in the season, not an ideal scenario for Rafa Benitez if points are still needed then for safety.

To put the 21 day break with no Newcastle games into perspective, there is only a 32 day gap between the Premier League season ending and the World Cup finals kicking off (a 19 day gap from when the Champions League final takes place on 26 May).

The Mag – 27 February 2018:

A very interesting exclusive on Tuesday morning, revealing that the long talked about mid-season winter break will at last arrive in the Premier League.

The Times exclusive though, says that this won’t apply to the Championship and Leagues One and Two, as their 46 game league seasons means there is no room to accommodate it.

The newspaper reports that the winter break will start as from the 2019/20 season and that under the plan all Premier League clubs will end up with a guaranteed 13 day break without a game.

This will be accommodated by playing the FA Cup fifth round games all in midweek in early February and without replays

The Times say that the break would be staggered, with five Premier League matches taking place one weekend and five on another.

No doubt this will be to maximise the number of Live TV matches that can be shown and it was always a guarantee that it would be the FA Cup that would be further diminished to help make room for any winter break.

Newcastle fans will hardy notice the difference…

In the entire time Mike Ashley has owned the club, Newcastle have never reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, so a winter break has become the norm.

Rafa, the players and fans have just ‘enjoyed’ a 13 day winter break between the Man Utd and Bournemouth matches, then are set to enjoy a 21 day spring one.

If Spurs beat Rochdale in their FA Cup replay then after the home match with Southampton on Saturday 10 March, the next game will almost certainly not be until Huddersfield at home on Saturday 31 March. An international break and Spurs having to cancel the Friday 16 March Wembley fixture against Newcastle will ensure that.

The whole idea of the winter break is surely aimed almost entirely at pleasing the most powerful elite clubs, who tend to have Champions League matches and later rounds of the FA Cup to play.

The newspaper reports also claims that the England team will benefit from the break, with players having had a mid-season rest before Euro 2020 and future World Cups.

Most fans have England very low on their priorities and whatever measures they take that are supposed to help the national team never seem to see any visible signs of improvement. Just as having longer breaks away together hasn’t improved matters, a winter break isn’t going to magically make an inferior set of England players better than their rivals.

The winter break would bring the Premier League into line with all the other major European leagues, as Germany, Spain, France and Italy already have a mid-season break of between 11 and 22 days.

The EFL have dug their heels in though when it comes to the League Cup, insisting that this stays as a two-legged tie when reaching the semi-finals.

  • TheNutJob

    Tell the boys they can have a week off if they pagger the Saints on the 10th
    that should do the trick.

  • Wor Lass

    I hate the breaks because we get dozens of pathetic articles on the Mag and the Chron telling us 5 things we don`t care about, who we aren`t going to sign, what Sky Sports are saying at the moment and giving us updates on things they actually know nothing about. BUT three weeks with the squad resting, training and having injuries treated could be a real advantage to us. Going into those last 8 games of the season with, maybe, a fully fit squad with batteries recharged could be just what we need. Even Slimani could feature!

    • Peaky Magpie


  • Peaky Magpie

    If this snow/freeze continues don’t bank on this weekends game been on yet.

  • ghostrider

    I’m all for it to be fair. Not because I like to take a break from football but to leave little else for the over paid pampered good for nothing else, up their own aris, arrogant jumped up, over hyped soft touch, money grabbing, whining players and elite clubs have just about nothing else to go on about.

    I don’t care what others think about it but I’m genuinely getting fed up with this elitist game of pampered nonsense.
    I’m almost begging for championship football because that’s the closest we will get to actually proper football.

    I see more skill and effort in championship football in the real sense than I do in the premier league where the emphasis appears to be on damage limitation for all but the elite teams.

    This football, business is all about bragging rights or the belief that one city is better than another or one football team is bigger than another.
    It’s turned us all into the puffed out chest brigade and having to work like hell to carry it off when the elite clubs just stand there giving it the big one with their fake plastic puffed out chests,as if they earned it.

    Seriously where do we go from here?
    The cards appear stacked for the elite.
    The game appears rigged for the elite.
    The minnows (yes that includes us, to them) are allowed to believe they have a hope because every now and then one will be allowed to win something big so everyone can shout ” see, it’s all above board and anyone can win it.

    Wake up people.

    I think I’d rather go for the title in the championship and have many more games played with the feel good factor of many more wins and better quality football under a manager that’s down to Earth and willing to set the team up to entertain.

    “But you’re not ambitious, Ghost”….aye,

    • Gareth Marshall

      Sling your hook then if you don’t like it, nobody will miss you

      • ghostrider

        Miss me from where?

    • kingfisher

      Agree with your view of Championship football Ghost.I’ve said in previous posts that football is an entertainment business and should be something to look forward to, and last season was the most entertaining and exciting for years as opposed to the last few years in the Prem when we are fearfull of being well and truly hammered on world wide tv by not only the big lads but the so called ” smaller clubs” such as Stoke, Burnley, Bournemouth etc, no enjoyment what so ever and nil entertainment !
      Some people say that Championship football is rubbish, but as you say, I would rather be fighting at the top of the Championship than struggling year after year in the Prem.
      As I’ve said previously, the only two advantages in being in the Prem are:
      1) The amount of money on offer, but that is no advantage to us as M.A. won’t invest it back into the club, and:
      2) You get to see world class players in the Prem, however considering point 1 above, the only world class players we will see are playing for the opposition.
      I’m not saying that I want us to be relegated this season because if we stay up, this takeover may happen and hopefully things will change and we will be able to hold our own in the Prem, however if we do get relegated it would’nt be the end of the world.
      I’ve never understood this fascination with the Premier League, as trying to get there and perhaps more importantly staying there, is putting a lot of clubs in serious financial difficulty and at risk of going into administration.(i.e our unfortunate red and white neighbours)

      • ghostrider

        Correct. We are simply the also-ran group.
        The only way we will ever compete with those elite clubs is if we become one of them, which means we might see quality players on show but the club will cease to be the club we all knew as Newcastle United. It will be a new club catering for a new breed.

  • Gareth Marshall

    Are you off your head Jim?

    A three week break will be great. It will give most of the players a rest, allow time for the injured to get fit and hopefully refocus them on the task in hand which will be avoiding relegation in the remaining 8 games.

    What’s the problem? Some people will whinge about anything, it’s rather sad.

  • Mike

    illl be glad if liverpool game called off……give us a breather to get players back