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Fans set to boycott Christmas Eve clash

Filed: Thursday, 5th October 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham supporters have been making their views on the possibility of a Christmas Eve fixture clear.

It was revealed yesterday that West Ham's Premier League clash with Newcastle is one of the two fixtures being considered for live broadcast by Sky Sports on Sunday, 24 December.

And that revelation led to condemnation of the TV company and the complicit Premier League clubs, who agreed to allow TV companies to screen live football on a day traditionally reserved for non-football activities.

Further, a number of season ticket holders have stated that they will simply boycott the match - such as KUMB member e10hammer. "There's no chance I will be at football on Xmas Eve," he said. "I will be with my grandchildren.

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"I stopped doing boxing day fixtures many years ago too for the same reason, they're three very important family days for us."

Thoughts echoed by fellow member Hampshire Hammer, who added: "Christmas Eve has always been the real start of Christmas in our family, a family day. Even though the kids have grown up now, I don't want it disrupted."

And @TFSH_WHUFC also felt that he would have no option but to boycott the Newcastle fixture, should is be moved from Saturday, 23 December to Christmas Eve. " I will not attend and will leave my two seats empty in protest at this ridiculous suggestion," he said. "No thought whatsoever for the supporters, it's family day for me."

However not all fans are totally anti the Premier League's plans. "I'm probably in the minority but would really love to see the game moved," wrote danm79.

"Christmas Eve is a normal working day for me so I wouldn't be in until late afternoon; a 1.30pm kick off wouldn't really change much. Secondly it would mean the Boxing Day game would move to the 27th."

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Although top flight football has not been staged on Christmas Eve for some considerable time, West Ham have played during the traditional Christmas break many times in the past.

Prior to the 1980s, it wasn't unusual to see the Hammers in action on consecutive days - the most recent occasion being when John Lyall's team played Birmingham and Chelsea within the space of 24 hours on Boxing Day and the 27th (beating City at home before losing at Stamford Bridge a day later) in 1977.

However you have to go back 57 years to 1960 in order to find the last occasion on which United played on Christmas Eve at White Hart Lane in a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham - with the corresponding fixture played at the Boleyn Ground 48 hours later (Spurs winning that one 3-0).

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