Belfast Telegraph

Comment: And our survey said... time to give summer football a chance

By Billy Weir

The end is nigh - well, in footballing terms - with only the small matter of the Irish Cup Final and the madness of the play-offs before we all unveil our warship-grey legs and head off in the search for summer sun.

But, before you jet off and smother yourself in factor 50 for that bronzeathon in Benidorm or Benone, can I point you in the direction of the NIFL website to have your say on the future of the game.

The big-wigs want to hear from you, the great unwashed masses, as to which direction we drive the wonky bus that is local football over the next few years, with the key question being - when do we play.

Football League Managing Director Andrew Johnston stated: "An ongoing talking point has been the seasonality of our leagues, so we want to now give supporters the opportunity to provide their views and opinions. I would encourage fans of all clubs to take the time to complete our short survey online."

And I did so yesterday.

There are four options: stay as we are, May to February (keeping the festive games), September to June and March to October, the same as our chums across the border.

This season has been hugely frustrating, the weather playing havoc with fixtures, but that isn't really going to stop being an issue unless we follow the lead of the Republic and play from March to October, or global warming goes completely doolally, as David Icke may say, and NIFL are unveiled as being reptilian warlords hell bent on the destruction of the globe. I have my suspicions...

I also feel the loss of our Boxing Day and festive games would require a huge change in mindset, never mind the money factor which is massive too. Yes, we could make a song and dance about having the derby games on a specific super Saturday, but it still wouldn't attract the same crowds.

If you're asking, I plumped for May to February, it seems to me to have the best of both worlds, summer football and keeping the festive games and would also enable our teams to have a decent crack at Europe rather than the unpalatable mix of Deep Heat and Amber Solaire filling our nostrils with players training in July.

Yes, there would be issues with part-time players having to get their holidays squeezed in, but it would be the same for all teams, and why not have a break in July or August to alleviate this?

It's all about opinions, but instead of bleating on about it, go and have your say on the NIFL website. The survey is open until Sunday. Now where did I put those Speedos and Nivea suncream...

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