The Premier League and the FA have risked the ire of several top managers by again scheduling next season’s FA Cup fourth-round replays during the winter break, according to the Mail Online.
Liverpool, Tottenham, Southampton, and Newcastle were all forced to alter their winter break plans after being taken to replays this season, with the Reds boss Jurgen Klopp opting to boycott his side’s Anfield clash with Shrewsbury Town.
Citing a Premier League letter that was sent to clubs at the end of last season, Klopp ordered his senior players to go away on holiday and instead allowed under-23s boss Neil Critchley to take charge of the youngest side in the club’s history for the return game, in which they beat the League One side 1-0.
Manchester City and West Ham have also seen their winter break plans changed after Storm Ciara forced the postponement of their Premier League meeting on Sunday.
Man City vs West Ham date confirmed as UEFA relax rules to accommodate rearranged fixture
The pair will try again at the Etihad Stadium next Wednesday, February 19 after the Premier League sought special dispensation from UEFA to play a top-flight match on a same evening as Champions League games, which is forbidden by the continent’s football governing body.
Two last-16 matches in European football’s premier competition are scheduled for that night, including Tottenham’s home game against RB Leipzig, but UEFA allowed the game at the Etihad Stadium to go ahead due to exceptional circumstances.
The Mail report that a draft schedule for the 2020/21 season shows the winter break again scheduled for the first two weekends in February, with half of the division taking one weekend off and half taking the other.
However that will again have to change if any side is taken to a replay in the FA Cup fourth round, which will once again be scheduled for the first midweek in February.