EPL Winter Break? Bad idea

In the last couple of weeks Britain has been hit by a cold, snowy spell that has wreaked havoc on the entire country and decimated football fixtures, leaving a huge backlog of games.
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For all of you living in Canada, Northern USA, Scandinavia or any other country where you really experience heavy snow every year, what we got here in Britain would be nothing more than a minor annoyance really. However, this being Britain, any weather condition that isn’t rain (I should say light rain because heavy rain causes flooding) pretty much brings the country to a standstill. The recent cold spell saw roads closed because there wasn’t enough grit to clear the ice, schools shut, and businesses unable to open. We got the usual measured response from the newspapers, some of which should just change their daily headline to ‘FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT GO OUTSIDE!’ We got reports of shops running low on bread and milk due to panic buying (surely people buying bread and milk isn’t panic buying. To me panic buying would be going out to buy bread and milk but coming home with ice cream and cat litter because you just picked up the first thing you saw!) and there were real concerns about not being able to heat our homes due to gas shortages.
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We get some amazing excuses why though. We’ve been told the roads couldn’t be cleared because it was “the wrong kind of snow”. We’ve been told it’s “the right kind of snow but the wrong quantities” we were given a reason why Britain doesn’t have the gas reserves it should, which after cutting through the politician BS basically amounted to ‘we knew there was a problem but couldn’t be bothered to do anything about it’.
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With the recent cold spell, there have been increased calls for the EPL to adopt a winter break, because games are getting called off. I think that is a terrible idea.
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In my opinion most of the games that were called off recently, in the premier league at least, were called off far too prematurely. Most Premier League stadia have undersoil heating so the pitches themselves were most likely playable and the reason most games were being called off was because of the potential dangers for fans, often on the advice of police or local authorities. West Ham v Wolves was called off a day in advance because of a weather forecast for heavy snow. There was no snow or ice at all and fans were very unhappy to see the game called off. Liverpool v Spurs was called off 48 hours in advance. That’s just ridiculous.
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I certainly don’t think you should wait until the last minute to decide whether or not a game goes ahead, that’s not fair to visiting fans that may have journeyed for hours to get to a game but I don’t understand why you can’t make a decision early on the day of the game.
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I also really resent games being called off because conditions are deemed to be too dangerous for supporters to attend. Isn’t that for the individual supporter to decide? In my opinion, if you look out the window and decide not to go to the game, then that’s fair enough. However, if you do decide to go, you know the risks and if you slip over it’s your own fault for going out in the ice and you can’t sue anybody. Britain has become a total nanny state where the authorities are basically treating the adult population like an extremely stupid child that is incapable of making any kind of decision for itself.
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It’s not like we get this weather every winter. I’m 27 and I’ve never seen a spell of weather like that in Britain before. So to say we’ll get weather causing postponements like this every year is a huge stretch of the imagination.
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Also, when would the break be? Most people seem to want it straight after Christmas but I’d say that Britain is much colder in February than late December/early January. I don’t have the meteorological stats to hand but I’d be surprised if that wasn’t the case. Having a winter break in February would cause massive fixture pile-ups at a time when European competitions are just getting restarted so probably isn’t feasible anyway. To me putting a winter break at a time when it’s not the coldest completely belies the point.
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Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson have called for a winter break and by an amazing coincidence Sam Allardyce has voiced his agreement with Ferguson (shocking, I know). That being said there are a lot of good arguments for a winter break. With the top teams playing around 60 games a season, players are bound to get tired and a break would give them some valuable recovery time. There is also the argument of the quality of games being better because the players are going to be fitter. I can buy into those arguments.
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However, having a break would cause a horrendous fixture pile-up at the end of the season so teams would have to juggle a hectic domestic schedule with the intensity of the late stages of European competition even more so than they do now. In a World Cup year it would not be possible to extend the season, because all league have to finish by a FIFA mandated date. There is also the possibility of players losing form in that break and a team that’s hit its stride could lose all momentum.
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Also I love the festive season games. I watched three on Boxing Day. I watched 4 more in the next three days. Boxing Day football is one of those traditions that shouldn’t be tampered with. Arguably my favourite weekend of the whole season in the FA Cup third round weekend, always the first weekend after New Years Day and would hate to see that lost. I know many other fans that feel the same.
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I’ve read interviews with Robbie Savage and Jose Mourinho, among others who say they love the festive games and both of these have stated most players they have spoken to do too.
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A winter break is be used by other leagues in Europe (I think I’m right in saying that only the EPL and the Portuguese Liga are the only major European leagues not to have one) but that doesn’t mean it’s right for England. I think having sustained football all the way through the season makes the EPL stronger, not weaker.
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To break at winter is probably the sensible thing to do but football is not about being sensible. Paying somebody that is completely unqualified to do anything else £100k a week because he’s extremely good at something 5-year-old kids in a school playground do is not sensible but it’s done. Putting your happiness in the hands of eleven strangers every weekend is not sensible but we do it anyway.
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One by one some of footballs traditions have been taken away from fans. You can no longer stand on a terrace at a game, many fans can no longer afford to go to the game, even more cannot afford to take their kids to game due to rising ticket prices. Many of our clubs are in the hands of foreign owners who simply don’t care about fans. With so much taken away from us fans, winter football should be one tradition that is kept alive.