Ferguson advocates break

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Sir Alex Ferguson has again ruled out the possibility of a winter break being introduced to the Barclays Premier League even though he is convinced it would be a positive move.

The Manchester United manager has long advocated a two or three-week shutdown in the middle of the season, straight after the traditional Christmas and New Year fixtures have been played.

"I think (United chief executive) David Gill put up a proposal about staggering games so television could still continue every week but I don't think it will happen," said Ferguson.

It is an idea that has never gained any meaningful support, even though England's top-flight clubs once voted in favour of a winter break in principle without ever getting round to working out exactly how it would work.

However, Ferguson feels the move this season to extend the campaign by an additional week due to England's World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra in June provides the perfect opening.

Gill is set to unveil a proposal that would see one round of Premier League fixtures spread over three weeks during January that could satisfy broadcasters as well as providing all 20 clubs with two weeks off.

The United boss feels players in England suffer more injuries at this stage of the season than their European counterparts because they have not been able to rest.

"Think about players going through December, playing game after game and the effect that has on them," added Ferguson.

"That is the real tell-tale sign. They play with niggles and strains and by February and March a lot are playing on memory and playing with injuries.

"For some players it could be a long-term problem. There has been a lot of talk about it but I don't think it will change."

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Premier League
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