SPL consider winter break option

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The Scottish Premier League have declared themselves open to the idea of resurrecting a winter break but warned against a kneejerk reaction to the big freeze.

Scotland is in the grip of its harshest winter for almost half a century, according to First Minster Alex Salmond, something which has seen the sporting schedule decimated in recent weeks.

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith is reportedly seeking talks with the SPL and Scottish Football League aimed at changing the structure of the season.

Smith, who has recently been championing summer football, has long argued for a four-week January shutdown.

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster has also said he appreciates the benefits of such a break but insists something would have to give in a congested calendar.

An SPL spokesman said: "We're obviously aware of Gordon's views about winter breaks and summer football. Neil has made it clear that a winter break is a good idea.

"Trying to fit all the fixtures in - 10 months of fixtures - into eight or nine months is difficult given all the other pressures. So if there's an opportunity to sit down then of course we'd be happy to do that."

Meanwhile, Rangers' Active Nation Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at Hamilton will go ahead on Sunday, barring a serious deterioration in the weather, following an inspection at New Douglas Park on Friday morning.

The Scottish Football Association are keeping their fingers crossed the big freeze has finished claiming this weekend's ties.

The decimated schedule has been left with just six of its original 16 matches.

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