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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 14:45 GMT
FA chief backs winter break
Arsene Wenger
Wenger has urged the FA to consider a winter break
Football Association chairman Geoff Thompson supports the idea of a winter break in the Premiership.

Thompson was responding to calls from several high profile managers to introduce a mid-season break, in line with other European countries.

"I can well understand managers wanting a winter break," he said.

"I can see the advantages of it, but it's trying to fit it into the calendar. It would have to be a joint decision by the FA and the leagues."

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has long advocated a winter break, while Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger recently predicted that it would be in place next season.

"Other countries in Europe have a break and it would be interesting to find out if clubs from those countries do better when they come back in to the second phase of the European competitions than clubs like ours," Thompson continued.

"I have a feeling they may do better. It's a question of when do you do it and is the timetable right?

"The clubs don't like to start too early and we would prefer the FA Cup to be the last match of the season and it's a question of how late you can take that.

"It's a very long season, the Premiership is 20 clubs and we have two cup competitions, but the calendar has eased a little bit with UEFA removing the second group stage of the Champions League."

Meanwhile, the FA have arranged a summit with Fifa, Uefa and the Football League over transfer windows on Monday.

Football League representatives will use the London meeting to press their case for a continued exemption from the system on the grounds that many clubs need to sell players outside the windows in order to survive.

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