THE STEPHEN’S DAY fixture between Arsenal and Wolves at the Emirates Stadium has been pushed back 24 hours due to possible industrial action by tube drivers.
The north London club decided this morning to make the decision even though a London Underground strike may yet be averted.
An Arsenal statement reads: “As a result of the proposed industrial action on London Underground on Monday, December 26, our home Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, originally planned for Boxing Day, has been postponed.
“Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers will now take place 24 hours later on Tuesday, December 27 (a public holiday), kick-off 3pm at Emirates Stadium. This decision has had to be made now, before the result of the legal challenge to the proposed industrial action is finally known, due to the preparation period needed to safely operate Emirates Stadium by all the relevant agencies.
“The club has been liaising closely in order to make this decision, with all the relevant agencies, including the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Underground, The Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Islington Council. The paramount concern was always the duty of care towards the Arsenal supporters, Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters, matchday employees and workers and indeed everyone who was planning to attend the match on Boxing Day.
“In addition to the proposed industrial action on London Underground on Boxing Day, there would also have been no services operating on overground train services into London on this day. We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused supporters, but we feel that the right decision has been made based on a duty of care.”
Yesterday, Chelsea announced their London derby with Fulham on Monday would go ahead despite any proposed action.
“The club has examined the implications presented by the planned strike and has consulted with the Local Authority, Metropolitan Police and transport authorities. We recognise the duty of care we have to both sets of supporters and are confident we will provide a safe environment for fans to enjoy the local derby.”