Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Summer League anyone?

A New Year, but the same old story as far as football in Winter is concerned. Today Ely's game against Wisbech was off. In the morning the game looked like it was on, but then after another day of rain the game was off. Christmas is often billed as a football bonanza and for the higher leagues it is, but once you get below the Conference it seems that nearly all the games are off and even higher up in the pyramid the games are at the mercy of the gods.

Enough has been printed about Premier League clubs wanting a Winter break, probably mainly because their foreign players would like one and I once read an interview with Platini, where he stated that he once turned down a move to Spurs as he didn't want to play over Christmas! However, after a fourth year of games being called off all over Winter I reckon that it is time for a change lower down. Firstly, the bad weather can punish success; for example, King's Lynn a couple of years ago ended up playing 12 games in April due to a hard Winter and an impressive run in the Vase, and it could easily be similar for Ely this year.

Another problem that the teams below the Conference suffer from is a lack of attendances, so a Winter break or even a move to Summer League might make sense. With a game on Sky and cold weather in some ways you can't blame the less than hardcore from not turning up, but if there wasn't a game on TV and it was a nice sunny evening, wouldn't they be more tempted to turn up at the local club? If you want any evidence that this would work you only have to see the way attendances grew in the Republic of Ireland after they switched to the Summer.

I don't know whether it will ever happen, but there has to be something better than having to check Twitter every couple of hours to see if the game is on and it inevitably not being and then seeing knackered players playing every Tuesday and Saturday in Spring.

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