London clashes may be put back

20 December 2011 08:16

Arsenal and Chelsea could both be forced to postpone Boxing Day fixtures due to the planned London Underground strike.

Both clubs are concerned that supporters and employees could struggle to travel to their games, with Arsenal due to host Wolves at the Emirates Stadium and Chelsea taking on Fulham at Stamford Bridge.

The clubs concerned will monitor talks between tube drivers and London Underground officials and it is understood Arsenal could rearrange their game for December 27 if the transport network in the capital is to be severely disrupted.

Arsenal have sold all 60,000 tickets available for the Barclays Premier League game at the Emirates Stadium, but access to the ground for both sets of supporters and the home club's 1,000 matchday staff could be restricted if the planned strikes go ahead.

A packed house is also expected for the west London derby at lunchtime.

Underground train drivers have planned a 24-hour walkout on Boxing Day and on three other days over the next two months.

A statement on Arsenal's website read: "We would like to make all supporters aware of the situation surrounding our proposed home match against Wolves on Monday 26th December. The club is fully aware of the proposed industrial action on London Underground on Monday 26th December.

"We are closely monitoring the situation, together with all the relevant agencies, including the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Underground, the FA Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Islington Council.

"The paramount concern to Arsenal Football Club is the duty of care we have towards the Arsenal supporters, Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters, matchday employees and indeed everyone who is planning to attend this match. Any decisions or developments regarding this match will be immediately communicated on"

Chelsea echoed Arsenal's stance in a similar statement, saying that the "safety and wellbeing" of fans and employees was their main concern.

Source: PA