On Tuesday morning, fan representatives from supporters trusts and the FSF (Football Supporters Federation) met Richard Scudamore, with Premier League Christmas fixtures one of the subjects under discussion.
In the lead-up to the meeting, there were widespread rumours and concerns at the suggestion that games on Saturday 23 December could be moved to Christmas Eve for live TV coverage.
After the meeting which was held in London, the FSF confirmed that an assurance had been made that no game would kick-off at 4pm or later on Christmas Eve, though they indicated that Richard Scudamore had given no assurances about live TV games being shown earlier on 24 December.
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’.
The FSF had also said that on 19 October December live TV fixtures would be announced but that would be only for the opening three weeks of December, with TV choices for Christmas Eve and the end of December, into January, ‘possibly’ taking another week.
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.
Newcastle’s trip to West Ham is one of the matches that has been widely touted as being set to be moved to Christmas Eve, we should find out in nine (possibly sixteen) days time.
Quite amusing (and annoying) that the Premier League are clearly going to have live TV games on Christmas Eve and then try to make out they are doing us a favour by having the matches at noon and/or 1.30pm/2pm, rather than 4pm.
Premier League official statement on Christmas fixtures:
‘The Premier League today met supporters’ groups as part of its commitment to regular dialogue with fans.
‘At the meeting, the subject of Christmas fixtures was discussed.
‘Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore clarified that the December selections for live TV broadcast will be confirmed on 19 October, with the possibility the selection of New Year fixtures will take a further week to confirm.
‘Richard also made clear there will not be a match at 4pm GMT 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.’