In a controversial swoop for boxing day football, Amazon will show all 10 fixtures across the 26th and 27th December, moving the Leicester v Liverpool fixture to an 8pm slot, which hasn’t sat well with a number of fans.
There has always been discussion over the EPL’s busy Christmas schedule. Some teams play twice in the space of 48 hours, with fixtures on both Boxing Day and New Year’s day with another fixture sandwiched in between.
Many have attributed the hectic Christmas schedule to England’s poor performances in major tournaments in the past as well as seeing this time as the make or break moment, where the league title has been won or lost. After all, the team that is on top at Christmas generally goes on to win it – right?
Spirit of Shankley, Liverpool’s fan group, stated the rescheduling was “disdainful” and that “zero consideration” had been taken due to the fact that fans who choose to make the 120+ miles trip will be without public transport to make the return journey back to Liverpool.
LFC have stated that they will provide free coach transport for fans, but with fans travelling from all over the country, not just from Liverpool itself, many are still going to struggle to attend.
Some are also frustrated at the time changes handing an advantage to some teams who now have additional time to recover between fixtures. After facing Leicester, Liverpool will have a window of 68 hours until their next game, home to Wolves on the 29th December for the 16:30 GMT kick-off.
Manchester City play the day after Boxing day, 27 December, away to Wolves at 19:45 GMT before hosting Sheffield United on 29 December at 18:00 GMT giving the team a recovery window of just 46 hours.
Fixtures over Christmas are known to be tight and squad depth is often tested in between a turkey dinner and the New Year’s hangover. Tottenham have also had a fixture moved to accommodate Amazon, home to Brighton on Boxing Day, this one kicks off at 12:30 GMT, however. Newcastle’s trip to Manchester United has also been shifted to the 17:30 GMT kick off spot.
Fans already have to dish out monthly subscriptions to Sky and BT to watch Premier League games at home, and with Amazon now trying to muscle in on the action, it may become the case that most fans will be priced out of the game they love so much. Either missing out on a number of high-profile fixtures each season or having to find alternative methods to watch.
Supporters groups have already been vocal about the struggle for match day attendances due to broadcaster rescheduling. And we may see more fixtures moved to suit the needs of the likes of Amazon, BT and Sky before the season is through.