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Wenger callls for new year start to Premier League

Friday, 23 November 2012 - 3:26pm IST | Agency: Daily Telegraph

Arsene Wenger has proposed a radical revamp of the Premier League after renewing his call to introduce a winter break.

Arsene Wenger has proposed a radical revamp of the Premier League after renewing his call to introduce a winter break.

Wenger believes the authorities should consider starting the season in January and finishing in November and follow the example of other leagues across the world, including the Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League.

The Arsenal manager hinted yesterday that the struggles of English teams in this season's Champions League could be linked to a relentless fixture schedule.

Richard Scudamore, the Premier League's chief executive, told The Daily Telegraph last month that a winter break has been considered, with the possible option of ending FA Cup replays to ensure less congestion, while other established managers including Roy Hodgson, Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini have backed the idea.

Wenger said: "I understand it looks completely strange as people have been educated the current way but I moved to Japan and the season was in January to November. We started training in January and after a while it was completely normal.

"The period of rest would be the same. It wouldn't change the number of games. You would not be confronted with these situations when players are playing in two different championships. You would play during the summer period in the best period for football to be played."

Of the pressures of Europe, Wenger added: "I don't think we are getting worse. Maybe we have less room, less margin, than we had before. Now German football has come up, Spanish football is there every year and some French clubs have come back."

While City and Chelsea have paid millions in a bid to achieve the ultimate prize, Wenger and Arsenal have been criticised for their prudent approach. The club will announce the first in a series of major new sponsorship deals today but Wenger is still reliant on success each year in Europe. He said: "It is massive for us because I am so many times with my back to the wall, accused of not spending fortunes."

Wenger, meanwhile, has claimed that Manchester United will be "destabilised" when Sir Alex Ferguson ends his reign as manager at Old Trafford.

Ferguson will have his achievements marked by the unveiling of a statue in his honour at Old Trafford today. "In some ways it is scary as well because you think when this guy leaves the club, no matter of the quality of who comes in after him, it will be a huge hole," added Wenger.

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