Premier League rules out playing Christmas Eve match at 16.00 GMT

Emirates Stadium

Emirates Stadium

In an official statement (see below), the Premier League have confirmed that the above is the case - saying that Richard Scudamore "was unable to comment regarding earlier kick-off times on that date (Christmas Eve) as discussions between the Premier League and the clubs are ongoing".

There had been talks that a number of Premier League matches could take place on Christmas Eve this season for the first time in 22 years.

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

"I know that we have to adapt to the schedule dictated by television, but overall I would say if that, personally, I don't think any games should be played after 2pm on Christmas Eve". The last train from London Euston to Liverpool leaves at 9.21pm on Christmas Eve, but does not pull into Liverpool Lime Street until the early hours of Christmas Day.

"FSF led 20 fan reps into meeting with PL CEO R Scudamore this morning".

"We are starting to establish a basis for genuine dialogue", he added.

News that the game would be played on December 24th the was met with an initial backlash from fans over travel concerns and a lack of tradition.

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. However, moving the Tigers' game against Saracens is all but impossible given it is scheduled to be broadcast on BT Sport as part of its coverage of Aviva Premiership rugby. That came way back in 1995 when Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Leeds at Elland Road.

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