We Brits are still firmly ensconced in the close season, but Football clubs are already only a short time away from returning to pre-season training.
Although there are now so many extra curricular tournaments going on, like the Confederations Cup,that it sometimes feels like the game never stops and pre-season friendly matches are looming on the horizon, there is still some way to go until the whistle is blown to start a new season of club football. Surely the place where most of our loyalties lie.
Can I have my football back?
The FA rules state that no club should be involved in playing football during the close season and that:
“The Close Season shall be defined as the period between 1st June and 30th June inclusive each calendar year, save where The Association makes an order to the contrary.”
An extract from the FA website.
When first drawing up the rule (now B8(b) for citation buffs), back in the 1891, there was originally a FOUR month period of no football (save practice matches), from 1st May to 31st August – apparently in “deference to summer sports”.
I must admit, the constant tiki-taka of transfer rumours is already taking its toll. All talk and not much getting anywhere, it is starting to stifle. Soon the window will open bringing a fresh change of air and optimism for the new season.
Mixed in with the talk, there has of course been the snack-sized entertainment of the Confederations Cup (is it just a by-product of a long close season that this now seems to have taken on much more importance?) and my foraging in to the Australian lower leagues for other tasty summertime morsels. These, however have not been enough to sustain me – and not being the biggest cricket fan, or holding any interest in the British and Irish Lions, I am impatient for August.
There is the Tour de France to enjoy, but that tends to be relaxing viewing. The late-night highlights offer the perfect way to wind down with a beer, whilst watching others expend ridiculous amounts of energy in searing heat.
Of course, should the sun ever bother to show its face for any length of time, I might drag my pasty white face outside at some point to play with the kids andstave off the impending bout of rickets.
I have some ideas to breathe new life in to the blog for the new season and will continue to write for other sites and link them to here as well.
In the meantime, to keep me occupied, I thought I’d compile some of the more popular posts off the site post them in batches over the next few days for some light summer reading.