?Chelsea have thrown their backing behind supporters’ concerns over one of their festive fixtures being moved to Christmas Eve for live television purposes.
Sky Sports want to move the Blues’ away match against Everton to 24th December to fill its Sunday TV show, and the company has already drawn fierce criticism from Arsenal and Liverpool fans for wanting to do likewise for their top flight clash.
In a statement published on their official website (via the ?Daily Mail) on Friday, however, the reigning Premier League champions revealed that they would stand by their club’s supporters’ trust after they were contacted by aggrieved fans over the proposal.
The statement read: “The Chelsea Supporters Trust wrote to the club this week expressing its objections to fixtures being scheduled to be played on Christmas Eve, an idea they are opposed to “due to the inherent travel difficulties and disruption to what is regarded as sacrosanct family time”.
“The club is sympathetic to our supporters’ objections and it is a subject we have raised with the Premier League.”
The statement has since been taken down by Chelsea as they continue to thrash out a deal with the Premier League and Sky over the issue.
That’s all very well but if there isn’t any public transport running some fans can’t go. About time Sky and BR Sport thought about fans
— Ashleymadblue (@ralpha060461) October 7, 2017
Sky will reveal which matches they plan to broadcast live on their TV channels on Christmas Eve on 16th October, and should expect a massive backlash from any club that sees their fans’ concerns overlooked once more.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp urged Sky to rethink its plan to move his side’s away trip to Emirates stadium as it would be impossible for his club’s fans to return to Merseyside, once the game ends, due to public transport shutting down in the afternoon.
Arsenal themselves are mindful that it would be difficult for their own supporters to get to and from the stadium as well, and have doubts that they would be able to attract the required number of stewards and police to ensure fan safety in north London.
Both games are scheduled to go ahead on Saturday 23rd December at the current time, but don’t bet against Sky trying to use their financial muscle to get their wish.
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