Premier League clubs will not accept rule that bans mid-season friendlies and commercial trips

11 April 2019

United
Photo: Getty Images Premier League clubs will not accept rule from FA that bans mid-season friendlies - here Man Utd in USA in Summer 2018.

A winter break will be introduced next season to relieve players, but the Premier-League clubs are reluctant to agree to no-friendlies rule proposed by the FA.

Nikolaj Babis Nielsen contact@offthepitch.com

Talks about introducing a winter break in the Premier League have been going on for several years, due to the tough and sometimes packed programme in the winter as a result of cup games and Premier-League games. By the 2019/20 season, all Premier-League clubs will have at least 13 days off, so that the players can rest.

During the negotiations over the winter-break deal, the FA believed the clubs would use the break to play friendlies or go on commercial trips, so it asked the clubs to make an alteration to the Premier-League handbook for the 2019/20 season prohibiting potentially lucrative overseas excursions and training matches in order to relieve the workload of the players, The Times reported.

The FA was told that the clubs were not interested in making such a formal rule, so the association called a meeting of all 20 clubs last Friday. The issue was not put to a vote to be revisited, and the clubs are reluctant to restrict future money-making opportunities.

The Times reported that the FA is aggrieved, since it put a lot of work into creating the winter break, which was all done in order to relieve the players’ workload.