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Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 21:39 GMT 22:39 UK
Crozier's winter break crusade
FA chief executive Adam Crozier
Crozier believes he has a strong argument
Football Association chief executive Adam Crozier is determined to try am implement a winter break in English football.

The idea has come in for criticism from important parties, including Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

But Crozier says that high-profile managers are in favour of the move and that it up to the FA to prove that a winter break is possible.


Whether it's Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Gerard Houllier, Terry Venables, they're all saying there's something in it
Adam Crozier

"We are certainly not going to stop pushing for it, because we think it is right for the game," said Crozier.

"People seem to be saying 'is there a way of making it possible without serious disruption' - so the onus is on us to prove it is possible."

Italy, France and Germany have such a break to their league season's and Crozier is hoping a two-week pause for Premiership clubs - starting in January 2004 - will be accepted.

During the possible break, Football League clubs would continue to play and Crozier stressed the benefits of such a move.

"We think it is possible, particularly if Uefa follow through on their decision to cut the second group stage of the Champions League (in 2003-04), which will free up four match dates - which by my reckoning is approximately two weeks," added Crozier.

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson
England coach Eriksson supports a winter break

"We believe it brings benefits for everyone - players would have a chance to regroup in terms of injuries and freshness, and would provide a better product for the fans.

"The Football League would get a couple of weeks where it was the sole focus of attention.

"Fans who had just spent a lot of money over the Christmas period could have a break in money terms."

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson is one of the supporters of a winter break.

Crozier said: "Whether it's Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Gerard Houllier, Terry Venables, they're all saying there's something in it.

"And those are good judges of football."

He added: "The managers and coaches feel that two weeks is the optimum - for the simple reason that if you go past that the players start to lose fitness and you almost have to go back into pre-season training."

Links to more Football stories are at the foot of the page.


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