Sky Sports are ready to risk further anger from football fans by screening a SECOND Premier League match on Christmas Eve.
Liverpool fans are already fuming at the prospect of their trip to Arsenal being moved to a 4pm kick-off the day before Christmas – causing major travel headaches for anyone looking to go to the game.
But it has emerged that another fixture may also be shifted to December 24 – and there is nothing the clubs or the Premier League can do about it.
Under the terms of their lucrative broadcasting deal, Sky have the right to screen two matches on that Sunday, one in a lunchtime kick-off and another in the high profile 4pm slot.
The match between Arsene Wenger’s side and Liverpool is the biggest of that weekend and is an obvious pick for the channel as their main game.
And having forked out so much to secure the rights to screen top flight football, Sky are understood to be keen to use all the slots available to them to maximise their value for money.
All the games due to be played on December 23 involve away supporters having to make a sizeable journey across country to watch their sides in action.
Manchester City are at home to Bournemouth, while Manchester United travel to Leicester.
The Everton v Chelsea match is another that would look attractive to TV bosses while Newcastle have to visit East London to take on West Ham.
Premier League officials are already in discussions with Sky bosses, preferring the Arsenal v Liverpool match to kick-off at 3pm instead of an hour later to provide more time for travelling supporters to get home.
The channel does have the ability to decide against moving any of the matches to Christmas Eve, but the feeling is that is unlikely due to the huge investment they have made to secure rights.
And fans still won’t know for definite until mid-October at the earliest what matches have been moved because the new list of live games will not be announced until then.