Monday, 23 October, 2017

No late Christmas Eve kick off for Newcastle, West Ham

The time slot of 12.30pm is emerging as a likely compromise to play the game on December 24 The time slot of 12.30pm is emerging as a likely compromise to play the game on December 24
Hannah Rogers | 12 October, 2017, 21:54

Arsenal's Premier League clash with Liverpool on Christmas Eve will go ahead with kick-off to take place at 12.30pm despite a fan backlash.

Only once in Premier League history has a game ever been played on Christmas Eve.

When asked about playing on Christmas Eve, Wenger said: "I know that we have to adapt to the schedule dictating by TV".

The proposal was met by fierce criticism in light of the difficulties of travelling to and from London on Christmas Eve.

Arsenal are still likely to face Liverpool on Christmas Eve, but with the compromise of a lunchtime kick-off.

The FSF described the proposal as "a new low point in putting the interests of football broadcasters over those of match-going fans". But following a meeting between the members from 20 fans groups and representatives from the Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) and Premier League chief Scudamore on Tuesday morning, the plans have been scrapped. "Even when we have differences of opinion we at least understand each other's point of view".

'The Premier League today met supporters' groups as part of its commitment to regular dialogue with fans.

This official Premier League statement says much the same, apart from appearing to say all December TV games will be revealed on 19 October, with then only the January ones taking "possibly" a week longer.

Under the current broadcasting arrangements, Sky can not move its pick to 23 December at 17.30 GMT, as that spot on Saturday afternoon is one of the reserved slots for BT Sport.

"Personally I would prefer to be at my home and celebrate Christmas, but I still feel that could happen if we played early on [Christmas Eve]", the Frenchman added. That came way back in 1995 when Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Leeds at Elland Road.

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