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Premier League urged to rethink Christmas Eve plans

Football fans in festive wear

There has not been a top-flight game held on 24 December for 22 years

The Premier League has been urged to reconsider reported proposals to stage matches on Christmas Eve.

Tom Watson MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has written to the league’s chief executive Richard Scudamore.

Reports suggest Leicester v Manchester United, Arsenal-Liverpool and West Ham-Newcastle could be moved for live TV.

Watson writes that he is concerned fans will be “forced to choose between their loved ones and their team”.

The Labour MP’s letter to Scudamore, obtained by BBC Sport, adds: “There’s a real danger that some travelling fans would not be able to get home until the early hours of Christmas Day, whilst hundreds of stadium staff and workers would be expected to work rather than spending time with their families at this time of year.

“I accept that televised football on a Sunday, and over the Christmas period in guise of Boxing Day fixtures are a well-established part of the football calendar but I urge you to recognise the concerns of fans, staff and families.”

The Premier League has declined to comment on the letter because it has not yet received it.

But the organisation did tell BBC Sport that the process for selecting fixtures for live broadcast over the Christmas period is not complete, and they will update supporters as soon as possible.

There has not been a top-flight game held on 24 December for 22 years.

The Premier League is set to announce the televised Christmas fixtures in the week beginning 16 October.

Letter from Tom Watson to Richard Scudamore<!–

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