Relief for Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United fans as Premier League confirms no Christmas Eve fixtures

Arsenal's match against Liverpool had been tipped for a Christmas Eve slot

Arsenal's match against Liverpool had been tipped for a Christmas Eve slot

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Premier League fans will be spared a tortuous journey on Christmas Eve night, following the Premier League's announcement that no games will be played on December 24.

Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, and there had been speculation that the Premier League, in conjunction with its broadcasters, could move one of the matches scheduled for December 23 to its peak 4pm 'Super Sunday' slot.

Liverpool's trip to Arsenal was one fixture reportedly under consideration, while Chelsea's match at Everton and Manchester United's visit to Leicester may also have been subject to change.

However the Premier League has moved to clarify the situation and reassured fans that their pre-Christmas festivites won't be disrupted.

Three games will be broadcast live on Saturday December 23 - including Everton v Chelsea at 12.30pm and Leicester v Manchester United at 7.45pm.

Liverpool's trip to Arsenal will now be played on Friday night, kick-off 7.45pm.

A statement from the league's organisers said: "There will be no Premier League fixtures on Sunday 24 December. Four matches have been selected for live UK coverage that weekend, with three to be televised on Saturday 23 December.

"Every season, when scheduling the fixtures, the Premier League includes provision for matches played on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day to have reduced travel times for teams and their fans."

The statement also included quotes from Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, who said: ‘’We appreciate this is the peak time for supporters attending and watching the Premier League.

“With matches scheduled on Christmas weekend for the first time in 11 years, the process of selecting games for live broadcast has been a more complex one than usual and I would like to thank our broadcast partners and clubs for their co-operation and flexibility. 

“When selecting matches, the broadcasters are using the rights that we the Premier League and the clubs have sold them, and they should therefore not be criticised for doing so."

Last week the Football Supporters' Federation claimed Scudamore had assured them there would be no game on Christmas Eve during his meeting with the fans' group.

The prospect of Christmas Eve matches had been heavily criticised, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp among the most vehement opponents of the idea.