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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 06:59 GMT 07:59 UK
Top clubs consider winter break
England captain David Beckham
England's players looked tired after a long season
Plans to introduce a winter break into the Premiership for the 2003-04 season will be considered by club bosses later this month.

Arsenal and Football Association vice-chairman David Dein has drawn up proposals for a three-week break, starting after the traditional New Year's Day fixtures.

And Dein claims the move would benefit Nationwide League clubs, as well as giving Premiership players time to recharge their batteries.


It will be good for everyone whether they be managers, players or fans
Arsenal's David Dein

"It may enhance Football League clubs," said Dein.

"If people can't watch Arsenal or Tottenham or West Ham they might watch Wycombe or Leyton Orient instead."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will discuss the concept of a three-week window with fellow managers at the summer Premier League technical meeting.

Should the 20 top-flight bosses back the idea, it would then be referred to their clubs for final approval.

"We have to consider how to get the best out of the product," Dein added.

"This will maximise it as we try to make sure the players are as fit as possible during the course of the season.

"After the New Year's Day game there should be something like a three-week break, which would give the players an opportunity to go off somewhere on holiday for a couple of weeks.

"It will be good for everyone whether they be managers, players or fans - it will be good for the game as a product."

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson called for a winter break in the wake of his side's World Cup exit last month.

Eriksson was concerned that the rigours of a long season had taken their toll on his players.

The timing of the proposed break, unlike the current ones in Spain and Italy, would not impinge on the festive period.

And Dein has suggested a ban on money-making club tours during the three-week period.

One problem would be how best to make up the lost time without reducing the number of top-flight clubs.

Beginning the season one week earlier and finishing one week later could be an option.

But in World Cup or European Championship summers that would leave little time for preparation and recuperation.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
PFA chief Gordon Taylor
"I think a break would be good"
Arsenal's David Dein
"A break would let players recharge their batteries"
 VOTE RESULTS
Does the Premiership need a winter break?

Yes
 67.61% 

No
 32.39% 

9301 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

English Premiership news
All the top-flight news

See also:

12 Jul 02 | Eng Prem
24 Jun 02 | Other News
28 Jun 02 | Liverpool
22 Jun 02 | England
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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