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Premier League to move start date forward from 2015/16 season

Reports in the Daily Star today state that the powers that be have decided to move the start of the 2015/16 Premier League season to the 8th August to help ease the festive congestion that has long been criticised by foreign Managers.

In a move that see’s the seasons beginning shifted forward by eight days, there is no doubting that sides will benefit when it comes to December time and the seemingly endless fixture list. The move comes after what seemed to be the worst pile up in a long time, with sides playing twice within a 48 hour period for the most part.

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Where the constant action was a dream for supporters everywhere (non stop football, who’s ever going to complain?), the effects were certainly felt in the business, with many players and coaches bemoaning the extra effort required to survive the heavy workload.

One of the main critics was Louis van Gaal, new to the League and used to having a winter break, who believes that adopting that style would benefit the League in terms of quality, and the National side too. Teams like United (who experience their fair share of injury problems) will never be comfortable with the format, and teams lower down the league (who have, as a rule of thumb, thinner squads) also find issue, so a change will certainly be welcomed by the majority at least.

However, the proposed change is a double-edged sword.

For the alleviation around Christmas, there is then a week less of preparation in preseason. The Community Shield would now be played in July, and players having a weeks less break (though this is written from the perspective of the players and club) could well prove an unpopular move.

Fortunately, the proposition applies only to seasons leading into major International tournaments for the time being, but should it prove successful then I have no doubt that it will be implemented permanently.

If you ask me, I think it’s a crying shame to lose what is a beloved tradition around Christmas. And if players and club further down the pyramid – where fitness levels and part/full-time status differ from club to club – can cope with that amount of games, then why can’t the über-fit megastars of the Premier League? And without meaning to use clichés, they do get paid a hell of a lot of money, so why do they get the cushy treatment? Tradition here is for the festive period to be laden with football, so why should tradition change to accommodate faint dreams of reaching the last 16 of the European Championships?

Of course there are benefits to the proposal, but the desperation of those in charge to please the money men and detach modern football from fans is exasperating to say the least. Come 2016 I may be singing from a different hymn sheet, but for now at least, I’m not for it at all. Even if England do make it through the group stages.

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