Taste of the Terrace: Are football clubs playing too many matches?

Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in  his new column SUS-150216-162649002
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton gives his news in his new column SUS-150216-162649002

The clash of the Beast From The East and Winter Storm Emma was climactic – pun very much intended.

Crawley Town’s match with Wycombe Wanderers was called off because of a frozen pitch along with the vast majority of fixtures across the country.

I admit to being secretly pleased at being allowed some extra recovery time from my accident but disappointed that the club’s enterprise in laying frost covers went unrewarded.

I also chuckled that they planned the pitch inspection for the day with the worst forecast.

The decimation of the fixture list unsurprisingly raised the question of a winter break.

The stupidity of that idea is shown by the fact that it is now spring in meteorological terms.

We all know you cannot legislate for the weather in this country and it would be crass to sit out a planned break in January to then find pitches unplayable through frost or snow in February.

I wonder if we are trying to fit in too much football. The fixture lists are overcrowded in my opinion.

The time was when the winter game was played from September to April but now it is August to May.

The top clubs whinge about having to play twice in four days but can’t wait to jet off to their lucrative summer tournaments.

Today’s Premier League is all about making money as evidenced by the ludicrous sums paid out in transfer fees and in player salaries.

As you drop through the divisions down to parks football, the game is more honest and it is the football itself that is most important.

Attaining more quality might be helped by reducing quantity.

The EFL divisions of 24 clubs are too big and it was a shame the recent proposal for five divisions of 20 clubs never got off the ground.

Mathematically 16 teams would be best (any multiple of four) but that’s not enough for the professional game.

I recall a season when I was with Ifield when benign weather was not accompanied by any progress in the cups and one of the teams completed their fixtures in February.

Is there any good reason why clubs should not also play midweek as a matter of course?

This could mean that the various cup competitions need not be seen as an inconvenience and might prompt the fixture compilers to use a bit of common sense and try to reduce travel for away supporters.

It is a lesser evil that it is Wycombe fans who will likely have to play here at 7.45pm on a Tuesday rather than those who support Morecambe.

There are plenty of options available but a rethink to reduce congestion and expense is definitely overdue.