The J-League have announced a change in the season from Summer to winter, starting from August 2026. The current season runs from late February to December, with a 2-week break in the summer. The winter season will run from mid-August to the final weeks of May, with a mid-season break between mid-December and mid-February. The reasons for the change are to align the league with the Asian Champions League (ACL) and the European transfer market, as well as reduce the number of games played in extreme summer heat. Some regions in Japan have harsh winters with heavy snowfalls, which may force clubs to play consecutive away games during late winter and early spring. The J-League has committed to compensating clubs in those regions to improve facilities for cold weather. They have also set metrics for the next decade, including a target of two ACL wins every four years and at least 30% of J-League players being in the Japanese National team. The A-League will be monitoring the changes closely. There have been calls to shift the A-League season to winter due to rising summer temperatures, but this may not be possible due to scheduling conflicts with other codes. Winter in Australia presents its own problems, and the lack of infrastructure and competing with other codes is an issue. The APL has not set any targets for the A-League, and they need to ensure clubs are not only sustainable but also building on success. Nonomura’s statements about the future success of Japanese football can be applicable to the A-League and Australian football.

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