Thursday, June 1, 2023

Christmas Eve football poll

As we know the possibility of Arsenal playing Liverpool on Christmas Eve is a strong one.

Sky want it, even if fans do not, and given that they routinely ignore what fans want, it looks as if this fixture will be played on December 24th – although with assurances the kickoff time will not be 4pm.

It’s an issue that has exercised many fans of both Arsenal and Liverpool, so we’ve created a poll to try and gauge opinion. If you wanted to share this with Liverpool fans to get their views too that would be helpful.

The poll is open until October 17th.

Update: Just realised we need two polls.

1 – For match going fans of Arsenal and Liverpool

2 – For TV viewers

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I think we should boycott and do something else with friends and family.


You’d be boycotting Arsenal though, not Sky.


i boycott sky by streaming anyway. fuck sky.

The Limp Bar

I still think an empty stadium would be a pretty powerful signal though.

Dad Neck

Agree with limp bar. Them trying to have a live game with no one there would be a glorious fuck you to sky

Terry Neill - never again

…. over land and sea and Christmas Eve (sadly)


I will attend because I’ve got a season ticket and live in walking distance but I will likely be going alone because my brother who I go with has kids. I’ll attend because I paid an arm and a leg for this season ticket and it’s a huge bloody game. I’m not happy about it at all.
I’d love to see the real attendance of it not the bullshit one they put up on the screen that counts all season tickets as benig there not how many people really came through the turnstiles.

Alan Levermore

Exactly the same for me. Just because I can attend doesn’t mean I agree with it


I will also be. Perhaps with a sign which says “I am here under financial duress…thanks Sky”


Well those fuckers won’t show this sign to the TV audience then.


Doesn’t mean other media outlets will follow suit. Fan influence needs to be implemented regardless…we as a club are too placid…


I do enjoy watching football over the Christmas holidays but playing on the 24th or the 25th December is just pushing it too far, irrespective of the kick-off time. Many will be celebrating Christmas with their families and even if you’re not it will just create an additional strain on transport on an already busy day of the year. Terrible idea all around in my opinion.


Season Ticket holder who won’t be attending.

The fans are treated like crap and it’s gone too far. I’d rather be at home preparing for Christmas and all the fun than traipsing to the Emirates just because Sky dictate to me I should.

Won’t even try and sell my ticket – they can have 3 empty seats as a protest – enough is enough.

Isaiah Rankin

Fair play to you. Just such a shame those three seats will still count towards the official attendance.

Devilled avacado

That’s a shame. If a large number of season ticket holders decide not to go to the game then there’s at least a chance that someone who wouldn’t usually get to see a such big match might be able to. It would almost be like a Christmas present. But that’s dependant upon those tickets being made available. At the end of the day, Sky will do what Sky want and its very clear a few empty seats don’t bother them. What we can do is open up the match day experience to more people, whether we like the timing of… Read more »

John C

Sky don’t do what Sky want, Sky do what they’re contracted to by the Premier League (& Arsenal) which is to show a match at 4pm on a Sunday.


Hi, just want to give a perspective of a fan who is neither a resident of England nor someone who celebrates Christmas. So, I live in India (which means late night matches they start from 7:30 pm and the last match probably ends at 1 am). Christmas day is a holiday (and bank holiday) in India. Which means, I get to watch a match on TV and not bother about going to work the next day. YAY! BUT, when the crowd is behind the team and singing I can feel the difference. It makes a huge difference. And if there… Read more »


I think your view is pretty reasonable. I get for a lot of international fans it’s kind of great (unless you are in Australia where the time difference means it’s Xmas at kickoff or in Europe where they celebrate on the 24th). But for us lot who go it’s a real fucking hassle. I get that the 60,000 match day crowd pales in comparison to the tv audience but it still sucks we aren’t taken into account at all, especially the away fans.


Exactly. I think it’s bad to treat the fans like that, esp when they add value to the product that is the PL. It’s stupid. IMO if they are doing this, the fans should be payed for coming to the stadium.


We are all Gunners and I don’t want a match at the expense of my fellow 60,000 fans.. not at least on a day to celebrate even though that means I have to watch something else on TV on my holiday!


i will go because its across the road and i’m in town for chistmas. I’d really rather not as i should be enjoying more christmassy activities with the family and will get back to them asap rather than making a day of it with my Gooner pals. There’s enough blydi football over the festive season, the 24th should be football free in my opinion. i feel genuinely sorry for the away fans and the arse ache they will have to endure traveling back and forth – even if they are scousers 😉


In Sweden, we celebrate Christmas on the 24th. Not really a good idea to choose football before family. I do that enough the rest of the year.

Shire Gooner

Absolutely, my wife is Spanish and our family celebrate on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas day too. Boxing day is the day for football, Christmas is for family.

The Limp Bar

I don’t like boxing day games either.. I want to nurse my hangover with more whiskey.


it’s obviously inconvenient for the matchgoing fans, but I quite like the idea of watching the game down the pub with the old man and uncle, before heading home in time for dinner


Is watching the highlights such as on MOTD included in the option of “I will watch the game on TV”? I’m sensing the question is about watching it live. In which case my answer would be none of the above.


Yes, indeed. I have a make similar point. The question should really ask, will you watch the game as it airs live on television. Because DVR is your friend. I probably will not be able to sneak away at breakfast time to watch the game. But I will watch it on TV later (unless it’s a disaster).


‘Edit’ buttons are my friend.

Ulysses 32

Boxing Day please. Boxing Day is for football. the 24th is for peeling veg, a few hopefully well made dry martinis and a nice, really nice if possible, bottle of bone dry white wine, perhaps with some nice smoked salmon or trout and some crusty bread. And then falling asleep pissed on the sofa by 21:00. Not football. Boxing Day is for football.


Something’s wrong.
The “I think Sky’s execs should fuck themselves with a cactus” poll option is not showing up in my browser.


This comment needs to be discussed on the arsecast extra this monday!

Crash Fistfight

I’m not sure at this stage. I’ll probably end up watching it, just because, but if I’m doing stuff with family and it’s on at 1.30pm, say, I might pass on it and wait for MOTD (or not, if we lose!).

Petit\'s Handbag

Isn’t Christmas all a little boring?? I couldn’t imagine Christmas without it.
Its also a good excuse for a few lads I’m sure to get out of doing shopping etc.


If we do not act collectively then this crap will just continue unabated.


I predict The Emirates will be half empty. It won’t look good on TV. That’ll show Sky and the PL execs they should’ve reconsidered.


It’s the lower tier that’s the key, even if it’s just those fans that stay away it’ll be a good two fingers up at Sky!


The commentators will probably say something about Arsenal’s lack of support and there being no real atmosphere at our place. And then they will giggle a bit.



I think it stinks. I won’t be anywhere near it either at the ground or on the telly. It’s just another reason to hate what football is becoming. The premier league could stop this but they don’t care about fans, they care about profit. They can fuck off, I’ll be spending Christmas Eve with my kids.


I normally spend Christmas eve at my Girlfriend’s family house ( as she is Polish & they celebrate Christmas on the 24th) So i will not be watching the match! Think it is terrible form from Sky to do this. Really hope us fans refusing to/not able to watch the game makes a difference! Good on you Bloggs for continuing to speak up against it and not just accepting it.

Isaiah Rankin

Strange one tbh. Will be making the annual journey home to my parents’ for Christmas. Plenty of TV gets watched over the four-day bank holiday break but neither my dad nor I really enjoy any of that.

We do love watching football together though, and it’s a rare enough occasion these days for me to ignore my morals and to switch on Sky on Christmas Eve.

Family comes first at Christmas, so as much as I disagree with the scheduling of the game, I’ll be watching the Arsenal with my old man. Sorry.

Devilled avacado

same ting with my brother, will be pretty cool. Hopefully it goes better than boxing day against the Saints 😉


Travel is going to be difficult enough then anyway without adding football to the mix. If they must have a match on the 24th, then picking a local derby game would make more sense.


If it goes ahead it will be a half empty Emirates and therefore reduced support for our players at home. Making what should be a tough away game for Liverpool that bit easier. From a competition viewpoint the whole thing reeks of rancid skunk pi$$

silent stan

I think you need an additional option which is for match going supporters who will go to the game, but begrudge having to go.


I’ll watch regardless of when it’s played, but if it’s on Christmas Eve I’ll be very angry, and I’ll write a strongly worded letter to the FA telling them how angry I am!


Looking at the poll results (so far) it looks like they’re swinging towards what Sky Sports are counting on :-/


I am a season ticket holder. I don’t know whether I will be going to the game or not yet- it depends on plans over Christmas yet to be made. Even if I can make it to the game, I am very annoyed about this- Christmas Eve should not be a day for football.


As a season ticket holder, I lived in Highbury for years, meaning that attending even the most stupid kick off times was always achievable. However, as with many of the thousands of regular match-going supporters, my circumstances have changed. I now live in South London with my family, and Christmas means a long trip up to Yorkshire to be with my wife’s parents and family. A Christmas Eve kick off (and if I’m honest, even a Boxing Day one) is simply not an option, meaning that my ticket will go on Ticket Exchange, along with many thousands of others. But… Read more »


I think your TV viewership is going to be skewed by international viewers, a lot of whom are streaming/don’t care as much about Christmas. It does suck though, do the teams have any say at all?

Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

I would have liked to have an option that says begrudgingly watch the game on TV, despite NBC being on my shit list right now after they had three almost flawless seasons when they took the rights away from FOX.

Scott P

Same here. It’ll be on early enough in the day in the U.S. that it won’t really interfere with much, but I’d still much rather have it spaced out between the 23rd and Boxing Day. Actually, I’m almost more annoyed that the Boxing Day match will have to get pushed to the 27th, but realize that’s less relevant for those in other countries..


I live away from my family and am unable to get back for the holidays so watching Arsenal on Christmas eve is a bit of a treat for me.

David W. Pinnington

Doesn’t Sky already make enough out of football? I’m cancelling my Sky subscription, had enough of those money grabbers at Sky dictating what happens in the Premier League.


I would rather watch football on Xmas eve than Boxing Day personally.
It Could be arranged better though ensuring local teams play each other rather than one side having to travel 230 miles


I think this is a step too far we already have games routinely played on the boxing day now they want to include Xmas eve to the potential schedule.
I guess the FA has no power over matters like this more likely they bend over for the TV companies to do what they will so long as the money keeps rolling in.


If your not Cristian you wouldn’t care. I for one only realise it’s Christmas when I go outside and wonder why half the high street is closed down.

England is a cristian country so there should be some consideration towards that.



I’m a fan from USA, watching Christmas Eve American football games has been normal for several years now. For the tv viewers its something to have on in the background while fellowshipping with family and for many that go to the games it’s become a family tradition that’s seen as special. Christmas Eve football can become something similar. You can make going to a football match or watching on tv a family event; it may just take a little effort/adjusting the way you approach watching or going to a match to make it more about spending time with family vs… Read more »


I think you should separate American tv folks from UK tv folks. I’ll watch but it’ll likely be somewhere in the 5 a.m. – 9 a.m. so I’m not really missing family time.


Modern football just gets shitter and shitter doesn’t it? What sky don’t understand is that adding this extra televised game doesn’t improve things for most people, it actually detracts from the football feast of Boxing Day. Recently it’s only been Boxing Day and final day of the season when all 20 teams play the same day at the same time. They’re great football days. I’ll feel left out with Arsenal not playing on Boxing Day. As for the poll I would’ve tweaked it further to include an option for how you feel about what you will actually be doing. I… Read more »


It’s probably a bit different for me as I am in the US as we have sports on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day already, so I don’t much mind them doing it but I definitely understand the tradition of not having games and spending time with family. Sometimes NFL games occur in Christmas Eve and the NBA Usually has 5 games in a row on Christmas Day. Christmas is actually their signature day. Not saying it makes it right for how it’s done over there, just providing a bit of insight as to how We do it here.

Frank from Vienna

In Austria Christmas is celebrated on Dec 24th and although it is always great fun to watch Arsenal play Liverpool in a pub because there are a lot of fans of both clubs, there is no way I will watch it this year because my little boys want to do other things on that day. So fuck off Sky….


Do they not realise that in the UK Christmas Eve is a normal working day for most people, yes most won’t work the evening, but I bet many will still have to work through a lunchtime kick-off!

Animesh Saraf

The number of people who voted in favor of watching it on TV might mostly include people from Asian or African countries where Christmas is not such a big deal. Being from India myself, it’d be a normal day for me and I’d watch it. However, if I were someone who celebrated Christmas, I’d not even touch the TV remote on Christmas eve.


I will be visiting relatives in Germany where the main Christmas day is Christmas eve, meaning I will not be able to get a few hours to watch the match because of the kids presents etc. If it was on any other day it would have been nice to spend some of the time off work watching the football. Incidentally, back in my Scottish grandpas day, Christmas was just not that major, he even worked the morn. Obviously, not defending a stupid TV decision but just thought it interesting.


Sorry guys but I will watch ,I suppose to be with my wife’s family from the 23th to 27th but now that we are in divorce process, watching THE ARSENAL will fill the void.


Erm…Silver Gooner Linings?

Pistol Pete

Gutted that I will have to miss one of the “big” matches in my first year as a season ticket holder. My family are back in South Wales and I don’t want the hassle of travelling late on Christmas Eve.

If Sky do rearrange then I will cancel my Sports subscription (after the darts of course!)

What are they smoking over at the Emirates...

I’ll be listening to Arsenal Player audio commentary as usual, easier to get on with other things at the same time…and easier to not piss off my wife…


As hard as it may be, we have to all stand as people now and not watch or attend. These billionaire owned corporations and big companies are quickly taking away our rights and constantly ignoring common sense. I have watched 99.999% of Arsenal games since I started supporting, but as much as I can’t bare to miss a game, the time has come for us all to say enough. The FA, Premier League, UEFA and FIFA have all sold off the game. Arsenal are not innocent in this matter either – they profit from the TV money. But to sell… Read more »

Gary Baldy

The simple answer ( ha-ha ! ) . . .

. . . play the game whenever you like on Christmas Eve but play it behind closed doors.
Make Sky very aware they are welcome to televise it, by all means provide the viewers with what they want but make it extremely clear, also, that as a club, The Arsenal, they will not expect or want fans to come and watch in the stadium.

It’s a compromise, right ?

See, it is everso simple really.


Totally get why y’all are upset, but here in ‘Merka the NFL owns Thanksgiving and the NBA owns Christmas. Never even occurred to our family to turn on a TV on the holidays (except in the morning to watch the Macy’s parades – god knows why!) but I think maybe a lot of families don’t actually want to talk to each other these days… Last year, pro sports on holidays probably prevented multiple fratricides… what better way for the host to avoid the unpleasantness of re-hashing the 2016 election than to turn the volume on the telly up to 11… Read more »

Beccy Mackinney

I’m a local fan I’m not going on a point of principle and my seat will be empty. I’m also cancelling my sky sports subscription I’ve had enough it’s ridiculous.


Well, I’m in India and one of those of us here who do celebrate Christmas. It’s the only time of the year I go home to my folks, really, but then we’ll probably just have the game on instead of some Christmassy thingie for a couple of hours. The TV is usually on while the cooking goes on, or after when we’re regretting having had so much to eat and drink. And we already squabble about football (everybody supports a different team, pretty much). So… It’ll add to the atmosphere, especially if we lose and I imbibe generously and tell… Read more »

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