FA Cup Replays Could Be Dropped to Incorporate Winter Break

Jun 28, 2010 - Rustenburg, South Africa - England press conference at their World Cup base in Royal Bafokeng, South Africa..EVERY England fan was waiting impatiently for the moment when he would fall on his sword. But yesterday, in an astonishing dis-play of brinkmanship, FABIO CAPELLO refused to quit and the cowardly FA failed to sack him. The 64-year- old Italian hung on for a potential  12million payout despite masterminding Sunday's 4-1 defeat by Germany - England's worst-ever performance in a World Cup match.

It seems as if all the whining and whinging to the FA hasn’t fallen on deaf ears as a proposal to the FA concerning a winter break is slowly gaining steam within the game. Eliminating FA Cup replays is just one of a few ideas that could see a vital winter break implemented in the future, a break that could go a long way in benefiting the England team in years where a major tournament follows in the summer.

Players, managers and fans have all called for some form of a winter break for what seems like years now as the mentally and physically draining Premier League season relentlessly continues to take it’s toll on England’s best and leaves them nothing short of exhausted, broken and drained a mere few weeks before a World Cup or European Championship.

The Premier League has been no fan of a supposed winter break stating the already crowded fixture list leaves no room for time off during winter. The break through in early progress seems to be the Premier League’s willingness to negotiate with the FA if they consider dropping the arguably unneeded FA Cup replays.

In the cash rich Premier League, the idea of a winter break couldn’t be simply achieved largely because of the money involved. Smaller clubs who benefit from the gate receipts and revenue generated from FA Cup replays (the revenue generated from an away replay is sometimes enough to fund a small club for months or longer) have spoken up for the small guy while top Premier League clubs want an assurance from the FA that a lucrative Wembley friendly wouldn’t be scheduled to fill the break. These such meaningless internationals would of course prompt international call ups for England players, a move surely to be frowned upon by clubs.

What are your thoughts on a winter break? Should the Premier League and FA hash out an agreement and provide England with a break similar to that of the Bundesliga? Would it benefit the England national team if they qualify for the next Euro and or World Cup? Are the FA Cup replays worth discarding if it meant Premier League players could get a much needed rest?


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