It’s snow joke – a winter break tops my Xmas wish list
SO the British climate has finally remembered it’s winter. The scarves are out, hats are on and it’s snowing, blowing a gale or pissing down.
What a perfect time for the busiest part of football’s fixture list...
Paolo Di Canio (right) has already bowed to the inevitable and mentioned two words that always fall out of managers’ mouths at this time of year: WINTER BREAK.
The Swindon boss raged: “I have some experience in football. Christmas time is coming and for some of the players it’s unusual to play over the Christmas period.
“Maybe they would like a winter break, they’re thinking about shopping, organising somewhere to go next weekend for two or three days. That is typical.”
Typical – and understandable. Because what makes footballers different from everyone else?
Okay, they’ve got wallets bigger than Steve Bruce’s head but they’re still human. Like the rest of us, their minds will be on family, festivities, presents and piss-ups. nstead they’ve got to live like monks and haul their arses through a ridiculous playing schedule that goes against medical science.
But if club coffers are bulging and TV companies are laughing all the way to the bank, who gives a f***, eh?
Fans might risk life and limb to beat ice and snow to freeze off their plums and cheer on their heroes – but since when did they matter?
The show must go on – after all, it’s tradition.
But then, taking your son to the match was tradition. Kick-offs at
Ithree bells on a Saturday were tradition. And being able to watch the odd game on the box without forking out a fortune was tradition.
Now all that’s gone out of the window, why not consign this crazy practice of footie at Christmas to the annals of history as well? You never know, as well as allowing fans and players to enjoy Christmas, it might just benefit the sport and improve England’s chances of winning something. Clubs would benefit, too. Chelsea and Arsenal are patting themselves on the back for making it through in the Champions League, but our rivals on the contintent will be laughing when the London boys are battling through blizzards while they nurse a semi in front of a roaring fire during their winter break. e are now the only country to play on through the coldest part of the year. Even Alex Ferguson (left) gets it. The Manchester United boss has been pushing for a winter break for 30 years.
UEFA research shows that players in leagues without a winter break are FOUR times more likely to suffer a stress fracture or other injuries in April and May than those in, say, Germany and Spain. No wonder England look like the Dog & Duck reserves at major tournaments. Let’s scrap the Carling Cup. Cut out meaningless international friendlies. Slim down the Premier League to just 18 teams.
Sound crazy? Well that’s exactly what the chairmen promised would happen when the Premier League was formed in 1992.
Then they saw the pound signs.