Chelsea have made their objection to potential Christmas Eve fixtures clear with a statement backing fans’ concerns. The Blues are one of many clubs who could be affected by the situation.
This year Christmas Eve falls on Sunday and Sky Sports is considering moving fixtures back a day from December 23 to fill their Sunday afternoon slots. Everton v Chelsea is one of the stand-out games of the weekend, while Arsenal v Liverpool is virtually certain to be selected for TV coverage.
Reports suggest the game at the Emirates will be the lunchtime kick-off on Sunday. Meanwhile the Daily Mail reports that Leicester and Manchester United, who are due to meet at the King Power Stadium, have been asked about moving their fixture back a day.
Playing matches on Christmas Eve brings with it numerous concerns. Among them are staffing issues, with clubs potentially struggling to hire enough stewards for matches to go ahead. The appetite among fans for games the day before Christmas is also questionable. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said recently: ‘I really cannot imagine that anyone wants to watch football on that night.’ If Newcastle’s away game at West Ham is selected it would be a nightmare for travelling fans.
On Friday afternoon Chelsea released a statement on their website, which was later removed, to make their view clear.
‘The Chelsea Supporters Trust wrote to the club this week expressing its objections to fixtures being scheduled to be played on Christmas Eve, an idea they are opposed to “due to the inherent travel difficulties and disruption to what is regarded as sacrosanct family time”. ‘The club is sympathetic to our supporters’ objections and it is a subject we have raised with the Premier League.’
No decisions have yet been taken but the fixtures selected for TV are due to be announced on October 16.
Fixtures taking place on weekend of 23/24 December
Arsenal v Liverpool
Brighton v Watford
Burnley v Spurs
Everton v Chelsea
Leicester v Manchester United
Man City v Bournemouth
Southampton v Huddersfield
Stoke v West Brom
Swansea v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Newcastle
Source: Metro online
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