Premier League rules out playing Christmas Eve match at 16.00 GMT


Newcastle United look set for a massive 560 mile round trip this Christmas Eve as the FA plan to move their fixture against West Ham United to a day later than originally proposed.

However, it is understood that Premier League bosses are looking at screening multiple games at once, in a bid to avoid playing matches at inconvenient times for supporters.

Arsenal are still likely to face Liverpool on Christmas Eve, but with the compromise of a lunchtime kick-off.

"At the meeting, the subject of Christmas fixtures was discussed".

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore this week confirmed to the Football Supporters' Federation there will be no 4pm kick-off on Christmas Eve.

"We are starting to establish a basis for genuine dialogue", he added. "The Premier League have made genuine efforts to meet our requirements". Other fixtures have also been considered for a December 24 broadcast, including ManU's trip to Leicester City and Chelsea's game at Everton.

Screening matches on a Saturday evening at around 7.45pm - and putting them head-to-head with the likes of The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, is also something both clubs, broadcasters and the Premier League wish to avoid. I would prefer to be at home on Christmas night and celebrating.

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.

While supporters are in favour of their team being broadcast on television more, there is concern about the Premier League's lack of consideration for travelling supporters when scheduling games.

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.