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Premier League heads for Winter Break and Man C win appeal in kangaroo court

by Tony Attwood

Two news items appearing today of wider interest: the advent of a winter break in the Premier League, and the fact that after the longest running case in the history of the Court of Arbitration in Sport, Manchester City have been allowed to sign their 16 year old.  (Or at least he was 16 when all this started; he could be quite a bit older now.)

To start with the winter break, it is being said that the FA will announce their decision at the end of the season.  The new approach says that the FA, Premier League and the Football League will “allow” clubs to have a break from competitive games throughout January and early February.

It is one hell of a long break!  Except, that it turns out it isn’t.

What this means is that the Christmas schedule (which last year included attempts to play games on Christmas Eve as well as other occasions when there simply is no public transport available) continues, on the grounds that (in the words of the Telegraph) “Any reduction to it would have angered supporters.”

When on earth has the view of supporters ever been taken into account?

Anyway, a shut down for part of December has never been on, because it is a time of big TV audiences and the stadia by and large continue to be fairly full.  I am told one person at least said during the to-and-fro of the discussions, “You can be thankful we’ve stopped playing on Christmas Day”.

Indeed Christmas Day used to be a regular fixture in English football, itself getting some of the biggest crowds of the year.  These games were stopped because the crowds stopped turning up.

But it turns out this is not a full winter break as much of Europe has.  Of course not, because one can never accuse England of doing the same as the rest of football.  No, what this amounts to is the fact that all clubs will get 13 consecutive days off, but not the same 13 days off.  So just as the drunks stagger back from the pubs, so games in the leagues and FA Cup will be staggered over a six week period, with different clubs having different breaks at different times.

And given that transfer window is open, players could well finding themselves moving from club to club and getting no break, or a 26 day break, depending on how things go.

Of course much of this nonsense comes from the TV companies that refused point blank to lose football from the TV for even a couple of days.  Bowing to that pressure the FA then agreed that the 5th round of the FA Cup would be played as a set of midweek games, rather than weekend games.  How jolly.

But now moving on to the long running Manchester City legal case the result of this means that Man City will not be facing Fifa attacks on two fronts.  The question of FFP and Man City is one that probably won’t come to pass until PSG has been dealt with, but it lurks in the background.  However City don’t now have to worry about a two transfer window ban for child trafficking.

Benjamin Garre can now sign for Man City after what one Man City fan described on Untold as the kangaroo court (actually the Court of Arbitration for Sport) reached a decision after nine months.

Because the amount of information the CAS releases about each case is limited we don’t know what it was that took so long in this case – and that remains the most interesting issue.  On the surface the case was simple: for EU transfer rules to apply did the player just have to hold an EU passport, or did he also need to be resident in the EU?   The CAS decided in the end that the passport was enough, so Man City got the youngster.

Of course this will all change again once the UK leaves the EU, because for everyone outside the EU the lowest transfer age allowable across countries is 18, so I suspect some clubs will be scouting around for 16 year olds in the EU with a certain amount of vigour in the next year.

From the Arsenal History Society

8 comments to Premier League heads for Winter Break and Man C win appeal in kangaroo court

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Whichever way we look at it for or against, Man City have gotten the chap they want and it’s now being backed by Law. Thus, making the deal lawful. So, the deal to sign the underage by MC when he was signed is no longer an illegal deal. But could CAS had delibrately delayed judgement in this case to buy time for the Etihad club outfit so to perverse judgement in the case using lack of tenable fact and evidence to not uphold Man City appeal?

    As regards to the decision to introduce winter break across the board of the English Leagues, if it is approved and implemented next winter, I think the implementation will help some players in the Premier League who are allergic to the severe cold that the winter brings along. The player like Oezil at Arsenal who often falls sick during the winter period and missing in games for Arsenal could benefit immersely from this winter break when ir is introduced in the PL next January.

  • king

    Hmmmm,a few days ago CAS was alive, today because the verdict has gone in city’s favour, its become a kangaroo court.Is the rest of the world allowed to have an opinion different from yours,Tony?

  • Gord

    Did you hear the news?

    The moment that fans and players all over the world have been waiting 35 years for has arrived!

    Joey Barton is going into management.

    Oh joy (not!).

  • Peter Kay

    king,
    I read it that a Citeh fan had referred to the CAS as a kangaroo court, presumably because they had the temerity to investigate Citeh in the first place.

  • Gideone

    @king, 6:10 pm

    Why don’t you exercise some patience and read this again?

    … Benjamin Garre can now sign for Man City after what one Man City fan described on Untold as the kangaroo court (actually the Court of Arbitration for Sport) reached a decision after nine months.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    How about canceling all those pointless and silly ‘friendly internationals ‘ ? That ought to please a lot of people .
    International break is an oxymoron , if ever there was one !

  • Peter Coyle

    There was no appeal by City in this hearing. The appeal was by Velez against Fife clearing City to sign Garre. THEIR original appeal to Fife also failed.

    Perhaps you could you reword your ever so slanted headline, which is so untypical of you.

  • OK if you want to be pedantic. “Man City won appeal”

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