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Europa League round of 16 draw

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By ESPN Staff

Ferguson renews calls for winter break

Sir Alex Ferguson has called for the introduction of a winter break in the football season. The Manchester United manager insists he has supported the possibility of a mid-season break in the domestic calendar for many years.

A number of managers, including former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, have lobbied for a break but it has been vetoed as the number of clubs in the Premiership would be reduced and the FA Cup would also be affected.

Ferguson told the official Manchester United magazine, Inside United: 'I've always been a supporter.

'It makes me laugh when managers come out and talk about winter breaks - I championed it when I was manager of Aberdeen in 1980 and I did again when I first came down here in 1986!

'And there's still nothing done, it's ridiculous. We had international friendlies at the beginning of June so why can't we play the season until the end of May? The players need to keep going anyway for these internationals.

'The Christmas programme is great in this country, we get great crowds then but why not start a three-week ban on January 1 and use the whole of May when the weather is better?'