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Chelsea Faces Xmas Eve Clash: Fans Demand Respect Over Festive Fixture Controversy


London: Chelsea supporters gathered in protest outside Sky Sports HQs and the Premier League headquarters on Saturday, expressing their fury over the upcoming Christmas Eve clash between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers scheduled for Sunday, December 24. The rare fixture on Christmas Eve has ignited a storm of discontent among diehard fans.

Bearing banners that emphatically declared “Supporters, Not Customers,” fans expressed their frustration, primarily due to limited rail services on Christmas Eve, posing a significant challenge for ardent supporters traveling to Molineux where the match will kick-off at 1pm. This marks the first time in 28 years that a Premier League fixture is set for Christmas Eve.

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust released a statement, visually demonstrating their dissatisfaction with both the Premier League and Sky Group outside their respective headquarters. The trust maintained its firm stance that altering kickoff times is unwelcome in the modern game, asserting, “Christmas Eve Football Can Get Stuffed!”

The protest serves as a reminder to the Premier League and its broadcasters that football’s essence lies in the presence of match-going supporters. The Trust emphasized the need for meaningful dialogue and consultation with supporters on crucial issues concerning their clubs, and called for an end to the perceived disrespect toward match-going footie fans.

Amid the uproar, Chelsea Football Club aims to ease the inconvenience for fans making the journey. For the Christmas Eve fixture against Wolves, the club has pledged free travel as a goodwill gesture for anyone purchasing a ticket. Acknowledging the limited transport options on this unusual Sunday, coupled with the holiday season, Chelsea intends to facilitate supporters’ travel to and from the match.

The move reflects Chelsea’s appreciation for the commitment of its fans and seeks to mitigate the challenges posed by the Christmas Eve fixture. As fans express their discontent with fixture scheduling decisions favoring broadcasters, the gesture aims to maintain a vibrant and engaged stadium atmosphere.

While the Premier League has opted for festive fixtures shared among broadcasting giants like Sky Sports, TNT Sports, and Amazon, Chelsea’s initiative stands out as a nod to fan loyalty, emphasizing the pivotal role supporters play in the spirit of the sport.

As the festive football calendar unfolds, Newcastle’s clash with Nottingham Forest kicks off Amazon Prime Boxing Day coverage, followed by Aston Villa’s trip to Old Trafford at 8 pm. The North London duo, Arsenal and Tottenham, will close out 2024 with 2 pm matches on New Year’s Eve.


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