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Christmas Eve plans may be ruined by event which hasn’t happened in 28 years

Christmas Eve plans may be ruined by event which hasn’t happened in 28 years

Disgruntled fans have taken to social media to air their views on the controversial decision

For many, Christmas is all about family, stuffing your face full with Turkey, and flicking through festive offerings on the telly.

And contrary to popular opinion, athletes are truly just like us - they like to spend the festive season with their nearest and dearest, too.

Boxing Day football fixtures in England are the norm, and often players are required to train on the Big Day itself so that they can get ready for the upcoming clash.

However, it’s very rare that Premier League stars will be asked to participate in Christmas Eve matches.

It’s actually so rare that it hasn’t happened for 28 years - with the last being a 3-1 festive frenzy between Leeds and Manchester United.

On December 24, 1995, Leeds’ Gary McAllister opened the proceedings with a penalty before Man Utd’s Andrew Cole equalised in the 27th minute.

However, Anthony Yeboah and Brian Deane sealed the deal during the Christmas Eve game, and The Lilywhites gave Elland Road an early Yuletide gift to remember.

Premier League fans have only been able to tune in to watch football on Christmas Eve once.

Not only was the match a festive cracker that lifelong Red Devils fans are still keen to forget, but it was the first time in the Premier League that a game was played on 24 December.

However, history is set to repeat itself, as Chelsea will head to Molineux Stadium to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers on the eve of Crimbo 2023.

At the time of writing, Mauricio Pochettino’s squad and Wolves are joint with Bretford in the league table.

Despite all having 19 points to their names, The Blues sit in tenth place, due to a goal difference of two.

Right now, The Bees are 11th, just above Gary O’Neil’s team. The latter currently resides in twelfth place, with a goal difference of minus five.

Due to the Christmas Eve fixture, Premier League organisers and Sky Sports have been accused of ‘ruining’ Christmas Eve by some dedicated football fans.

Chelsea's Supporters Trust released a statement in regards to the game back in October.

One X (formerly Twitter) user wrote: “I absolutely love going to watch Chelsea home and away but couldn’t even imagine spending my Christmas Eve at football, family always comes first.”

A second said: “Sky are killing football without any consideration for the fans actually attending the matches.

“Imagine being a fan of Chelsea travelling to Wolves on Christmas Eve (transport nightmare). Do they not want the stadiums full?”

“Why are you insisting that Wolves v Chelsea play on Christmas Eve this year!!?? Greedy Effs,” said another disgruntled fan.

“Chelsea vs Wolves Christmas Eve better be cinema,” commented a fourth.

At the time of the game announcement, the Chelsea Supporter Trust put out a statement claiming that the scheduled game was 'totally unacceptable'.

They wrote that not only would the Christmas Eve game lead to 'staffing issues' but that transport would act as a 'further inconvenience' for supporters.

Following a meeting with the Premier League on 2 November, the Supporter's Trust said that 'concerns were consistently ignored' by league organisers.

A spokesperson wrote: "We are disappointed that our early request to reschedule the fixture was rejected.

"It is important to note Saturday, December 23 [20:00] is an available slot – but this was also refused."

Wolves v Chelsea’s upcoming Premier League clash will kick off at 1pm on Sunday, 24 December.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photos

Topics: Christmas, Sport, Premier League, Chelsea, Manchester United, Football, Twitter, Social Media