Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal fans to be spared horror trip on Christmas Eve night

Liverpool fans will be particularly relieved about the Premier League's decision

Liverpool's match at Arsenal had been tipped for the Christmas Eve 4pm slot

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fans of the Premier League's top teams will be spared a nightmare before Christmas, after the Premier League confirmed it won't force any club to play in the late-afternoon time slot on December 24.

Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, and fans had worried that the Premier League would move one of the matches to 4pm - its traditional 'Super Sunday' kick-off time. Such a decision could have meant a hellish journey back for the away team's supporters.

However the Premier League has said any games moved from Saturday December 23 to Christmas Eve will kick-off before 4pm - meaning all sets of fans will have time to get home for the sherry and mince pies.

The Football Supporters Federation says it had received a guarantee from the Premier League's chief executive, Richard Scudamore, on the Christmas Eve time-slots following his meeting with its fans group earlier today.

The news will come as a particular relief to fans of Liverpool, whose match at Arsenal had been tipped for the Sunday afternoon slot.

Another fixture reportedly under consideration was Chelsea's trip to Everton, while Manchester United's visit to Leicester may also have interested the schedulers.

The potential for a 4pm Christmas Eve kick-off has been strongly opposed by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, while Chelsea's supporters group has issued a statement urging the Premier League not to give them the later slot.

Last week, the FSF described the prospect of Sky showing games on Christmas Eve as “a new low point in putting the interests of football broadcasters over those of match-going fans”.

The Premier League is due to announce which, if any, games are to be played on Christmas Eve a week today (October 19).