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Premier League clubs to be banned from ‘winter break’ friendlies

Premier League clubs will not be allowed to organise lucrative friendlies during next year’s mid-season break, it has emerged.

The English top flight will introduce a two-week break from the 2019-20 season – with 10 teams sitting out the first weekend and 10 the following weekend – in order to give players rest following the busy Christmas period.

At this week’s shareholders’ meeting, clubs will reportedly be told they will be able to hold training sessions and arrange behind-closed-doors matches at warm-weather camps, while players and staff will be free to undertake promotional work. But friendly matches will not be allowed, which will deny clubs revenue opportunities.

An advisory note to clubs will state: “Clubs are expected to honour and respect the underlining rationale for the break.”