West Ham United look set to welcome Newcastle United, who would be set for a massive 560 mile round trip, to the London Stadium this Christmas Eve as the FA plan to move their fixture against the Magpies to a day later than originally proposed.
The Hammers were set to see Rafael Benitez’s side make the long trip to East London on the 23rd, however FA president Richard Scudamore has now revealed the match is one of a number of contenders to have the date switched.
Arsenal and Liverpool’s clash at the Emirates may also be swapped.
Should either of the matches go ahead and be played a day later, it would signal the first time a top flight fixture has bene played on Christmas Eve in 22 years.
Met with backlash by fans who would be wanting to travel to the games, the Premier League released a statement earlier to address their concerns.
“The Premier League today met club supporters’ groups as part of its commitment to regular dialogue with fans,” said the statement.
“At the meeting, the subject of Christmas fixtures was discussed. Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore clarified that the December selections for live UK broadcast will be confirmed on 19 October, with the possibility the selection of New Year fixtures will take a further week to confirm.”
Perhaps the only positive was the promise of no late kick-offs on the day, which would not only be greeted by grumbles from the public and more than likely the players, but also the fans whose travel would become nigh-on impossible should games start late.
“Richard also made clear there will not be a match at 4pm (or later) on Christmas Eve but was unable to comment regarding earlier kick-off times on that date as discussions between the Premier League and the clubs are ongoing.”