Do we really need a winter break?

by Mystical Mike

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Football is the best part of Christmas!

I’ve got a blank weekend. Great, that means a day free to do absolutely anything. I can do Christmas shopping, catch up with friends and enjoy an all too infrequent trip to see the Clarets, if they were still in the Cup, or the trophy, or any other fixture you come to mention. But they’re not. Cue thumb twiddling, more thumb twiddling and a little reflection. This weekend Chelmsford City aren’t playing. A blank football duet of days in the middle of the football harvest.

If Brent Peters, manager at Bacup Borough, had his way then this “free Saturday” in December would become the norm. For Step Five clubs (which his is) he’s suggesting a winter break. A month off due to the inclement weather and I can understand his point. He’s already seen a handful of games called off, his voluntary staff and players put out, money wasted and time gone. When the weather’s at its coldest and most unpredictable, then why not give up the ghost?

The problem is, we’ve already had games called off in October, November and December this year, and the worst of January and February is yet to come.

Weather aside, although I understand everything Brent says, I don’t necessarily agree with him and it’s caused a fair amount of healthy debate in these parts as there’s one major hurdle standing in the way. Christmas.

The “festive period” is the best time for football. It’s for old rivalries, for dragging along the stragglers to see their only game of the year and for players who have obviously consumed one too many Christmas puds. Of course there’s the argument that it’s unfair on the team who don’t get a break, but did I force them into a life of football? It’s written in the contract when you sign-up.

Then there’s the left-overs; my brother’s obscenely stuffed sandwich of, well, stuffing. Then the other brother whips out the chocolates, and another brother has the cake (the advantage of course of having four brothers is a four-course meal at the football), and me, Dad and the hangers on consume it.

Last year we even managed to pursue some Liverpool fans (one of the rarer breeds of Premier League folk spotted in our heartland) to pop along for the festive cheer and even they half enjoyed it.

I love Christmas and I hate breaks in football, so the thought of a winter break makes me twitchy. This year looks like the ultimate in date alignment with Saturday the 27th and January 3rd teed up nicely. So, although I understand the argument Brent, I for one am already queuing for my ticket, mistletoe and cracker in hand. At least that gives me something to do this weekend.Non League Show

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  • Dan Church

    I love the Xmas period cos theres so many games, i know managers moan about fatigue and injuries but for the fans theres nothing better…..3 games in 9 days ? fantastic, i love watching my team, i would do it 24 hours a day if i could so bring on the packed fixture list, i love it.

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