Premier League Announces It Will Not Move Fixtures To Christmas Eve
No Premier League games will take place on Christmas Eve after none of the scheduled Dec. 23 games were "moved there" for live TV coverage, according to the BBC. It had been thought that Liverpool's trip to Arsenal was "under consideration to be moved" from Dec. 23 to 24. Instead, it will be played on Dec. 22, with a 7:45pm kickoff. Three other fixtures have been moved from the 3pm slot on Dec. 24 -- Everton vs. Chelsea, Burnley vs. Tottenham and Leicester City vs. ManU. Chelsea's trip to Goodison Park will be a 12:30pm kickoff on Dec. 23 and the other two games will take place that evening, with Burnley kicking off at 5:30pm and Leicester City at 7:45pm. EPL Exec Chair Richard Scudamore praised the "flexibility" of U.K. TV broadcasters Sky and BT. He said, "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 cooperation and flexibility." The last Premier League game to take place on Christmas Eve was in '95, when Leeds United beat ManU 3-1 (BBC, 10/19). In London, Jack Austin reported Liverpool fans "still face having to leave" at halftime "if they are to make it back to Merseyside that evening." Despite it "appearing like common sense prevailed" so Liverpool fans did not face traveling on Christmas Eve, they will still face "similar transport chaos" with the game due to kick off at 7:45pm that Friday. If Liverpool fans are to make it home that night, they must leave Emirates Stadium by halftime "at the very latest" to make the last direct train back to Liverpool Lime Street from London Euston. Unless Liverpool arranges buses for its traveling support -- which it "may do" -- fans face "forking out yet more money on a hotel to stay overnight in the capital" (INDEPENDENT, 10/19).