Premier League open-minded on a winter break, says Scudamore

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The Independent Football

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore does not believe a winter break is practical, but insists clubs are open-minded about the idea.

England head coach Fabio Capello has insisted a break is necessary if the national side is to prosper, but Scudamore cannot see where the space in the crowded fixture calendar could be found for a break.

He said: "We are open-minded to it. Mr Capello might want one but I can't see where the momentum is going to come to reduce our league from 20 to 18 clubs. It would be daft to do that when you have a global property of our strength. We have 380 games and you're not going to go down to 306 – why are you going to do that when people like UEFA are increasing the number of dates of their competitions. Why would we put our hands up and say we are the ones that are going to play fewer games? It's hard to see how practically it's going to happen."

There have been suggestions that scrapping FA Cup replays or changing the dates of the Carling Cup could allow a winter break but Scudamore cannot see that happening.

He added: "There are so many things about English football that people don't want to give up. We have just had a strategic review where the clubs fully backed a resurgent Carling Cup. It has gone from being a worthless cup 12 years ago to now having a decent position in the football calendar, and the last thing we are going to do is say how about scrapping FA Cup replays to create space."

Scudamore is anticipating an even more competitive season due to the increase in overseas television rights, which are shared equally among the 20 member clubs.

He added: "As we saw last season it is possible for the teams who get relegated to win some matches against the teams who finish in the top four. I think that will continue and every team will be competitive on an individual match basis. Is the table going to completely reverse itself and the promoted teams finish in the top three? Of course not, there's going to be a natural order but I think there are going to be some surprises along the way.

"It will be even more competitive as our international rights develop – £5m more is worth a lot more to a smaller club than a bigger club. If you have £50m turnover then £5m is worth more to you than if you are on £200m turnover."