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Friday’s Premier League Official Statement is yet another blow for fans

1 year ago
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We have now been treated to yet another official Premier League statement, the third in the past 24 hours.

It is no surprise that none of the three statements are to the benefit of football fans who actually go to the matches, the ones if they weren’t there, there would be no moneyspinning Premier League.

On Thursday, it was announced by the Premier League that the big six had somehow bullied the rest of the clubs into accepting that from 2019/20, the rich will get even more money from the international joint revenue, whilst those at the bottom will get less.

Secondly, the Premier League then announced that they had finally sold the last two UK rights TV packages, on the cheap, meaning a rise from 168 to 200 of 380 PL games to be shown live as from 2019/20. This inevitably means more inconvenience for fans who go to the matches.

Making it a hat-trick of Premier League statements, Friday sees the confirmation that there will be a ‘mid-season player break’ each season, as from 2018/19.

This will take place in February and there will actually be no break in terms of Premier League matches each weekend, the likes of PL Chairman Richard Scudamore shameless as usual:

“We are very pleased to have an outcome that will include an exciting first for fans – a full fixture programme split over two weekends with all matches broadcast live in the UK.”

Who has any interest in watching all 10 games in any round of matches?

FA Chief Exec Martin Glenn gets in on the act as well:

“Today’s announcement proves that football can come together for the good of the game.”

As usual, the match-going fans aren’t even considered, exactly how many fans of Newcastle or the other 19 clubs would have voted for this ‘mid-season break’ which means no game for them on another weekend?

Also, to help accommodate the change, they have agreed that all FA Cup fifth round matches will now be midweek.

Thanks very much. Imagine Newcastle getting somebody on the south coast or down in Wales etc, indeed many other places. Getting there and back on a weekend easily done but midweek?

I know it is difficult to imagine NUFC getting to the fifth round (never happened in 11 years of Mike Ashley) but you get the point for all fans, both home and away actually, who will be inconvenienced. This is yet another massive nail in the coffin of the FA Cup.

As usual, this decision is all for the benefit of those at the top.

Official Premier League Statement:

The Football Association, Premier League and EFL have announced a new annual mid-season player break, starting from the 2019/20 season.

The two-week break will take place in February and would be structured to ensure that Premier League matches would still be played every weekend over that period.

Each weekend during the break will feature five Premier League matches on the first weekend and five on the following weekend.

To incorporate the break, The FA has agreed to move the Emirates FA Cup fifth-round matches to midweek.

In addition, from the start of 2019/20 Emirates FA Cup fifth-round replays will be removed from the calendar, being replaced with extra-time and penalties.

All three divisions within the EFL will remain unchanged, with a full League programme for all 72 EFL clubs taking place on each of the weekends where there is a mid-season player break.

In January 2018, The FA confirmed that it would more than double The Emirates FA Cup prize fund from the 2018/19 season. This substantial increase on prize money will benefit all participating clubs at every stage of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition.

“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.

“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.

“Today’s announcement proves that football can come together for the good of the game. We have also found a way to give the players a much-needed mid-season break, whilst keeping the much-loved Christmas schedule in place.

“As we head into summer international tournaments in the future we are sure that this mid-season break will prove to be a valuable addition for our players.”

Richard Scudamore, Premier League Executive Chairman said:

“We have been discussing the football calendar with the FA and EFL for several months, including ways we can work together to ease fixture congestion, keep the Premier League action going right through the season and provide a mid-season player break.

“We are very pleased to have an outcome that will include an exciting first for fans – a full fixture programme split over two weekends with all matches broadcast live in the UK.”

Shaun Harvey, EFL chief executive, said:

“It has been useful to have these positive discussions over the last few months and, as part of the conversations, we have been able to ensure that our requirements could be incorporated within any changes.

“We very much understand, and support, the requirement and wishes of our colleagues across the game to introduce a mid-season player break. We hope it will provide the appropriate recovery time for players and have the positive impact on player and team performance that it is designed to deliver.

“At the same time we must acknowledge that fixture congestion remains a challenge and with a 46-game season to complete, plus the play-offs inside a 10-month period, it is currently impractical even if it was desirable for the EFL to introduce a similar break in our competitions. We will look to showcase the Sky Bet EFL during the two-week period.”

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