Football

Why doesn’t the Premier League change to a spring to autumn format?

Every Premier League season there is a strong argument in England for a winter break. Top leagues around Europe including Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, Serie A, and La Liga all take off for the winter over Chrismas, but the Premier League doesn’t. Sure, the league did institute a short winter break this season in February allowing teams to have seven days off from matches, although the Football League tried to stop that from happening for a few select teams by booking FA Cup replay dates.

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With all the talk of a winter break taking place and giving players time off during the Christmas period, one topic never comes up and that is: Why doesn’t the Premier League change to a spring to autumn format?

Of course, the first argument against changing the league structure is that the current autumn to spring format has always been used. Therefore, why should it be changed? The argument of not changing something because it has always been done that way isn’t very clever, but to get the Premier League to change its format, the league would need the other top leagues in Europe to do the same. It would also need UEFA to flip the Champions League and Europa League tournaments to fit into the format as well.

Don’t forget, international tournaments would need to be changed to be played during the winter months. The World Cup 2022 will set a precedent in that regard as it will be played in November and December disrupting the Premier League football calendar allowing teams to miss out on the intense hit of Qatar’s summertime.

There are good reasons to change the football calendar in Europe to spring to autumn. Although some country’s such as Italy and Spain will experience hot weather during the season, it is no different than what teams in other parts of the world including the United States, Mexico, and Australia do.

5 reasons to change the Premier League to spring to autumn format

  1. The weather is the biggest reason to change the football calendar. Premier League teams must deal with rainy, cold weather during the season for both training and games. Fans must also experience it throughout the season. We all know how great it is to watch football on beautiful warm nights at the beginning and end of the season. So, why not have the full season played with that lovely weather?
  2. More fans are likely to turn up for matches on days with good weather. While this isn’t necessarily a problem for the Premier League, the leagues down the football pyramid would change their calendar format to match the Premier League. It wouldn’t hurt having more fans show up to games down the pyramid and for the pitches to be in better shape than in the wintertime.
  3. Football tourism is a massive part of modern-day football. Playing in the summertime would make it possible for fans from around the world to visit England in the summertime when the weather is nice and to see games. Consider that people are more likely to be on holiday in the summertime and it opens up the chance for clubs to make more money in ticket sales to individuals from abroad.
  4. Playing spring to autumn would allow a season to fit into one calendar year instead of being split by two years.
  5. Summer also means there is more daylight in Britain. This could make travelling to fixtures more convenient for fans. Theoretically, if more solar power is used to power Britain, stadiums could be self-sustaining (or near it) by installing solar panels (if they don’t have them already) and generating power to run the venues. With the sun going down early in the wintertime around the United Kingdom, watching football with the sun out is far more enjoyable.

Premier League will never move to spring to autumn… or will it?

At the moment, it is highly unlikely the Premier League would move to a spring to autumn format. There would need to be a number of things to fall into place. As a father that has seen many of my son’s junior football fixtures cancelled in January and February, I definitely see a valid reason for a change in format.

Being that football in Britain has always been played in the autumn, winter, and spring, with cricket, played in the summer, it is doubtful that things will change. Fans have been conditioned to follow football from autumn to spring and most often, it is the fans that are the most difficult to convince.