As yet another international break comes around; you can almost hear a collective groan from football fans everywhere.
Yes we all love the big international tournaments and get swept away in the fervour and hype that surrounds huge global events like the World Cup – but how many of us can honestly say that we prefer international football over the top flight domestic game?
With the exception of supporters of lower league teams, the Saturday of an international weekend can almost feel like a long summer’s day without the benefit of barbecues, sunshine or even transfer gossip to keep us sane.
But a meeting held this week shows that those of us who can’t bear the thought of a weekend without Premier League football aren’t necessarily in the minority.
With a winter World Cup becoming more and more likely and a January-February tournament being almost certainly ruled out due to the Winter Olympics; it seems a December World Cup is the most obvious alternative – something that the Premier League are far from delighted about.
Well it appears that the Premier League see the 10 day period around the festive season as their most important of the year and if the little matter of the world’s biggest football tournament is to interfere with that – then it’s no deal.
Just last month Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said it would be "morally reprehensible" for FIFA to move the World Cup to winter without meaningful discussions with the rest of the game. A statement which basically says: “how does it affect us?”
And following a meeting between FIFA delegates and Premier League supremos, general secretary Jerome Valcke claimed that world football's governing body was "close to an understanding" on the possible change - suggesting things were far from agreed regarding the switch.
He told the Daily Telegraph: "That was part of the discussion that we have to protect your specific period, which is Boxing Day and these very specific 10 days, which are part of the history of English football."
So when Alex Ferguson used to proclaim that things never really picked up until Christmas, he couldn’t have realised how profound his words would one day become – he wasn’t just referring to the title race; but the global TV audience which was looking on with interest.
If nothing else the meeting that has taken place between the Premier League and FIFA has shown us fans one thing.
It’s not just the logistics of thousands of football fans travelling to the middle-east for an event to be watched by billions, nor the weather conditions or stringent stadium requirements that are behind a decision on the first winter tournament in the history of the game.
It’s the fact that the football authorities and supporters alike can’t bear the thought of going without the Premier League’s Christmas feast for 10 days.
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