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Beat around the Bush

PUBLISHED: 15:03 06 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:49 24 August 2010

By Chris Crees I THINK it s high time the authorities took a long hard look at the Christmas programme, as the way it s currently set up defies logic in my opinion. Let s take the case of QPR. A home game on December 19; another on Boxing Day; away at Ips

By Chris Crees

I THINK it's high time the authorities took a long hard look at the Christmas programme, as the way it's currently set up defies logic in my opinion.

Let's take the case of QPR. A home game on December 19; another on Boxing Day; away at Ipswich two days later and then an FA Cup tie on January 3.

In other words, at what is already the most expensive time of the year, we're expected to fork out four times in just over two weeks to watch our beloved team. That doesn't make sense.

Not just us, of course, and we were lucky enough to get two home games, but let's face it, it's no real surprise that attendances have suffered over this period - with the FA Cup, it seems, suffering even more than usual despite reduced ticket prices.

QPR offered "kids for a quid" at home to Sheffield United and still only attracted just over 12,000. Sign of the times or was it just the last chance to weekend shop before Christmas?

With the likes of Wigan watched by just over 5,000 punters and Middlesbrough attracting 12,000 for the visit of Man City, you have to ask "Is it all worth it?"

OK, the weather has played its part too, but that's my point - surely it's time to introduce a Christmas or winter break?

The big clubs, of course, would reject it because of the fixture congestion it would cause, but isn't that why they have a squad?

I'm sure with some considered thinking by the authorities, this could be overcome and I for one would welcome the break around Christmas.

It would probably whet my appetite in anticipation of the season starting again.

Apart from the cost aspect, travelling around at Christmas time is by no means an easy task if you're relying on public transport. For the first time in 20 years, I drove to Loftus Road because there were no trains from the south coast on Boxing Day.

I know that the Boxing Day fixture is a good opportunity to get some much-needed fresh air after the Christmas festivities, but do we really need another fixture two days later?

I'd abandon the fixture a week before Christmas and the one immediately after Boxing Day if only to give my wallet a break - and who knows, maybe even FA Cup attendances might improve?

Happy New Year all!


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