25 minutes for half time? That’s what the international board are wanting

By Tony Attwood

According to an “exclusive” in the Daily Mail “Football’s lawmakers IFAB [are planning] to discuss increasing half-time to 25 MINUTES in a bid to accommodate Super Bowl-style entertainment shows.”  (Their capitals, not mine.  They do that sort of thing in the Mail).

They then go on to talk about the “15 minute traditional half time” whereas in fact the tradition for most of the history of the Football League was a ten-minute halftime.  It was changed officially in 1995, although before that when Sky started to broadcast live matches in 1998 they began putting pressure on the clubs to take longer, so that they could get extra rounds of advertising in.

Anyway the suggestion is that when the International Football Association Board meet on Thursday they are going to start the discussion about longer half time so that there can be more advertising with the crowds kept occupied by what is sometimes jokingly called “entertainment”.  If you have ever seen the American Super Bowl, that’s the sort of stuff they have in mind.  It may entertain some; doesn’t do much for me, but maybe I’m getting curmudgeonly in my old age.

It would however presumably also increase alcohol sales, so alcohol companies seem to be putting their not inconsiderable weight behind the scheme.

The argument against the move, however, is that a longer pause will then mean that players will have to warm up again in order to avoid sustaining injuries in the early moments of the second half.

But it is seen as yet another way to make money – rather like Arsenal’s encouragement of supporters to buy a crypto currency that could quickly become worthless.

The Daily Mail in running the story however also suggest that, “It seems unlikely that CONMEBOL’s request will be backed,” and they add that “A similar attempt to increase the length to 20 minutes in 2009 was unsuccessful,” which is news to me.  I must have been dozing when that happened.

Anyway, it seems that the South American governing body, (an organisation which, it appears, have significant financial difficulties, as well as the smallest number of members of any of the affiliated regions) are behind the notion.  Most supporters’ groups who have picked up on the idea are against it.

To be fair and balanced (and when were we anything but that?) CONMEBOL said their intention was to improve the spectacle for supporters.   Now that is interesting because as far as I know, the “spectacle” is the football match.   The notion of community singing and pom-poms with grinning ladies is not really connected with football in any way.

Indeed I would argue that at a time when a huge amount of effort is being put into attracting a bigger audience to women’s football, the sort of sexist razzamatazz that American sports indulges in, is exactly what we don’t need in football.  But CONMEBOL claims that the spectacles on TV in other sports are “well-received” in other parts of the world.  Obviously, I move in the wrong circles.  

As a sideline, they have also said that extended half time would allow coaches to make tactical changes during half time, and thus improve the quality of football.  Next, they will be saying that crowd noise should be blanked out and synthesised crowd noise pumped in to make football more acceptable to the family audience.  And to encourage the teams to play better football!

But really it is all about getting more advertising revenue.   The Mail tells us that “Half-times in the NFL tend to last around 12 minutes. In the Super Bowl, however, they can last up to 30 minutes.”  A wedge, and a thin end, come to mind.

8 Replies to “25 minutes for half time? That’s what the international board are wanting”

  1. Definitely not moving with the times Tony. Who doesn’t want to see a little football before and after the real show of ladies raising legs? Mark you, in the interest of equality, the ladies’ games could feature men in tights at half time. At least that would lure more women into the grounds on match day. Should I have used “lure” there? Hope I don’t upset anyone’s delicate sensibilities.

  2. We had The Shamen and Sam Fox not to mention the crazy parachute stunt as Sky tried their luck at the onset of the Premiership . I suspect if they tried to reintroduce the Sky strikers again they would be met with as much abuse as their predecessors were back then .

  3. It wasn’t that long ago that the half time interval was just 10 minutes and something deep in my memory banks suggests it’s still that in some leagues

    I personally think it’s a discussion that may well throw up several views and ideas maybe there is some merit in the idea maybe not but a least it will be right to explore the proposal

    Going to a football match nowadays isn’t like the experience of yesterday year it’s more an day out as opposed to 90 minutes plus a cup of Bovril.

    Having said that 15 minutes suits me fine but for some who seem to delay their return from a mid game beer to about minute 60 even that extra 10 minutes probably wouldn’t be enough

  4. Maybe we can look forward to the return of the Metropolitan Police Marching Band strutting their stuff again like they used to back in the old days at Highbury?

    As I remember more often than not the most excited I ever got on match day was in anticipation of the band leader dropping his twirling stick as he attempted to hurl it ever higher.

    Given the extended break I think the chances of a fatal accident as the baton spears aimlessly back to Earth will increase dramatically.

    Come to think of it they could be on to something here.

    A bit of a ‘Roman Coliseum’ type vibe, if you know what I mean.

    I’m all for it.

  5. “In-match betting” opportunities could be maximised.

    I have long believed that money changes hands and influences the PGMOL . I obviously have no proof because nothing is ever published.

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