Derek is not in favour of the Winter Break
We have just defeated Kilmarnock in the third round of the Scottish Cup and the 2000 plus ‘Well fans who were there had another great day out at the other end of the A77.However, for some strange reason, that Kilmarnock game was the first match in three weeks.The SPL’s insistence on having a winter break seems like a bizarre and desperate attempt to be different from the SFL.Do we really need it?
The argument from the SPL is that the players need a break.These players are professional athletes, they should be ( relatively ) amongst the fittest people on the planet.Is playing for ninety minutes a week after a few three hour training sessions that strenuous?I am lucky enough still to be in the cosy world of full time education but I fail to see why workers who do heavy physical work all year can survive without a three week holiday after Christmas but professional footballers cannot.
The next line that is trotted out is that the weather in Scotland is not suited for playing through winter.This is almost reasonable but collapses when you acknowledge that the winter break could well be bathed in glorious January sunshine while February is washed out by a combination of sleet and snow.
Then, when supporters of the break are losing the debate , they claim that the break is actually good for the fans.Apparently fans do not want to go to games in January after the festive period.That seems strange when thousands of ‘Well fans went to Livingston in December and we had a large crowd at Fir Park for the visit of Partick Thistle.Okay, the finances may be tight for some people but sadly that is the case all year round.The days of fans going home and away to every match are over for all but a few lucky folk.
Fans are crying out for football in January.The inclement weather also adds something to proceedings-let’s face it, fans in Scotland are usually at grounds for entertainment rather than skill value.Sure, the odd bit of genius is appreciated but give the average fan twenty-two committed players in swimming pool-like conditions and he will be happy with the result.The ‘Well - Thistle game in January was technically dire, but did a single ‘Well fan leave the ground feeling they had not received value for money in an excellent afternoon?
The winter break is just footballers having their cake and eating it again.They play less games than before and receive astronomical amounts of money for doing so.While the fans no longer pay their wages, without fans the players should remember that they have no large mansion and fancy cars.If no one cared about football, David Beckham would be working in McDonalds.The players receive every benefit possible these days-surely another three games in January is not too much to ask from them?
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