Clubs in the Premier League will have a winter break in February from the 2019-20 season, the Football Association has announced.
The first-of-its-kind break will be staggered across two weeks, with five matches on the first weekend and five the following weekend in a bid to ease the schedules of clubs in the English top flight.
Following the new setup, the FA Cup fifth round will be moved to midweek to accommodate the break, with replays being scrapped at that stage.
Making the announcement Friday, the FA described it as “a significant moment for English football” that “will greatly benefit club and country”.
“It’s no secret that we have a very congested fixture calendar and over recent years we have been working with the whole game to find a solution,” said FA chief executive Martin Glenn.
“As we head into summer international tournaments in the future we are sure that this mid-season break will prove to be a valuable addition for our players.”
This will come as a welcome development for most Premier League Managers who have long called for a winter break as is obtained in the rest of Europe.
Meanwhile, all three divisions of the English Football League (EFL) will remain unchanged, with a full programme of fixtures taking place on each of the weekends where there is a break.