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MID-SEASON PLAYER BREAK ANNOUNCED

8 June 2018

Paul Hazlewood
The Premier League ball before kick-off at the Amex.

The Football Association and Premier League have announced a new annual mid-season player break, which could see Brighton & Hove Albion have a free weekend in February, starting from the 2019/20 season.

The two-week February break will ensure that Premier League matches are still played on every weekend across the month, with five games on the first weekend and five more on the second weekend.

To incorporate the break, the FA has agreed to move the fifth-round matches of the Emirates FA Cup to midweek. These matches will also feature extra-time and penalties, instead of going to a replay when all square after 90 minutes.

Despite this change to the Premier League schedule, all three divisions within the EFL will remain unchanged, with a full league programme for all 72 EFL clubs taking place on each of the mid-season break weekends.

If the Seagulls are able to retain their place in the Premier League next season, then Chris Hughton's side will benefit from this mid-season break in 2020.

Martin Glenn, FA chief executive, said, “This is a significant moment for English football and one that we believe will greatly benefit both club and country.

“It's no secret that we have a very congested fixture calendar and over recent years we have been working with the whole game to find a solution.

"Today's announcement proves that football can come together for the good of the game. We have also found a way to give the players a much-needed mid-season break, whilst keeping the much-loved Christmas schedule in place.

"As we head into summer international tournaments in the future, we are sure that this mid-season break will prove to be a valuable addition for our players.”

Richard Scudamore, Premier League Executive Chairman, added, "We have been discussing the football calendar with the FA and EFL for several months, including ways we can work together to ease fixture congestion, keep the Premier League action going right through the season and provide a mid-season player break.

"We are very pleased to have an outcome that will include an exciting first for fans – a full fixture programme split over two weekends with all matches broadcast live in the UK."

There will be even more of a change for the Premier League during the 2019/20 season, as it was announced that Amazon will show 20 Premier League matches a season for three years, after winning one for the final two broadcast packages.


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