Hull City midfielder Kevin Kilbane has called on the football authorities to introduce a winter break to ease the financial strain on supporters.
Just 5,335 people braved the cold weather to witness Kilbane's former club Wigan knock The Tigers out of the FA Cup third round at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
The poor turn out did little to reignite passion for a competition that has lost a bit of its prestige, and the Irishman said fans - and players - needed respite from the congested fixture list.
Phil Brown's side played three fixtures in one week over the festive period following a lengthy trip to London to see his side beaten by Arsenal.
And the 32-year-old believes simple alterations to the calendar would boost attendances in future.
Kilbane - who left the Latics for Hull a year ago - said: "For cup games we never had great crowds when I played here.
"I think we brought a good turnout from Hull but I think the crowd probably reflected the busy period we have had.
"We have had three games in a week and supporters can't be expected to keep paying the money to turn out to games.
"I honestly think at this sort of time we should have a break from the game, maybe a 10-day or two-week break.
"I've said it for a long time now. I think everyone expects a big crowd because it's an FA Cup game but that's certainly not going to be the case because it's hard on everyone."