The Twohundredpercent Vault: FA Cup Replays And The Winter Break


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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3 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    The idea of a winter break is overall nonsense anyway. When would you have it? Many clubs rely upon their Xmas holiday fixtures to boost revenue with many getting their biggest crowds of the season across this period. So how many club accountants would be willing to toss away their biggest earning fixtures? Then we get the issue that every winter we get a one or two week stretch where the weather takes out part of the calendar anyway – so why not just let nature take its course, and recognise there will be a break at some point anyway?

    If you do have one then there is the issue of timing. Even without a winter break, my own club Yeovil Town have played one home game since October and no home games since mid-November. Imagine what that does to a club’s finances if the League then said to our Chairman “we fancy a winter break in the first two weeks in January” – and we end up sat on our behinds as we have blank weekends in +10C mild temperatures?

  2. Sean of the Shed says:

    Exactly right about the FA Cup, the only effect of ending replays would be to reduce potential income for smaller clubs. However, if clubs are already putting reserve sides in the League cup, then why not let them carry on if they choose, just take away the automatic entry to the Europa league.
    With regards to the introduction of a winter break, it is flawed idea in many ways. Firstly the unpredictability of the English winter would make setting the right date rather awkward, assuming it would be taken mid or late January, the time after that this season would have to also accommodate the games missed over the cold spell we have just endured. Undersoil heating has proved no guarantee against postponements. Also, assuming we gave the clubs a winter break, I think that it’s fair to assume they would immediately load the team on a plane for a couple of friendly games in the Middle or Far East. The break may have been created for the benefit of the National team(s), but the clubs aren’t going to give a shit about that when there is money to be made

  3. Salop_Ian says:

    I’ve always been reasonably relaxed about a winter break – mainly because it is only likely to apply to the Premier League. The Football League breaking for two or three weeks would be financially and logistically impossible for lower division clubs. Could you imagine say, Accrington, breaking for two or three relatively mild weeks and then having three weeks of postponements because an artic spell of weather sets in just as fixtures are about to resume. There is the obvious risk of clubs having a month or more with their income cut off.
    As has been argued by others the Premier League taking a winter break would give The Football League the chance to showcase itself. But that is probably the reason why it is unlikely to happen. Would Sky really be keen to shell out increasing amounts money on a TV deal where there will be no Super Sundays, or Monday Night Football, for two or three weeks just when the season starts to get really interesting? Will two weeks of Doncaster v QPR, Huddersfield v Exeter and Shrewsbury v Wycombe satisfy the paying viewers or indeed the advertisers to pull them through their post Christmas blues. You get the impression that the broadcasters’ patience is pushed to the limited by an international weekend. As ever who pays the piper calls the tune.

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