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Christmas Eve TV fixtures: “A new low”

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

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Reports that Sky Sports are proposing to reschedule Premier League fixtures from Saturday 23rd December to Christmas Eve have been met with anger among football supporters, and represent a new low point in putting the interests of football broadcasters over those of match-going fans.

In particular, the suggestion that Liverpool’s fixture away to Arsenal could kick off at 4pm on Christmas Eve could mean that fans of both clubs would be faced with the impossible choice between attending the game or delaying their plans for starting the festive season with family and friends, with the away team’s travelling fans unable to travel home by public transport afterwards.

Twice in recent years (2011 and 2016) Christmas Eve has fallen on a Saturday; in both those years the Premier League has not scheduled any fixtures for that day, presumably in recognition of the significance of the date. For broadcasters now to move fixtures to Christmas Eve, and on a Sunday at that, flies in the face of that policy.

Supporters’ representatives from clubs across the Premier League have expressed their clear opposition to moving games to Christmas Eve, and will continue to engage with both the Premier League, via our forthcoming biannual meeting, and with broadcasters, to register our discontent and to seek full involvement and consultation with supporters in determining future scheduling.

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