Prem fans facing Boxing Day travel nightmare with more train strikes planned

Premier League fans are facing a travel nightmare on Boxing Day with more train strikes planned.

The top-flight is set to return from the World Cup break on December 26 with seven matches, but fans could struggle to attend fixtures around the country due to the rail disruption. The RMT union have confirmed additional strikes have been planned over the Christmas period, with Network Rail staff protesting over a pay dispute.

With a new offer set to be rejected, staff are now expected to walk out Christmas Eve and stay on strike until December 27. There are also four further 48-hour strikes scheduled.

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Network Rail's chief negotiator Tim Shoveller explained, via the BBC: "They are playing fast and loose with people's Christmas plans and the new strike dates announced deliberately target vital engineering work designed to improve the railway."

Football supporters have been quick to react angrily on social media, with the Boxing Day schedule including Arsenal vs West Ham United and Aston Villa vs Liverpool.

One fan tweeted: "Boxing Day football fans will be affected, particularly Arsenal and Palace. Lynch is a heartless old dinosaur, wrecking lives, jobs and the country. Dreadful man."

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Another added: "Well that’s Boxing Day football travel f***ed as well." A third also wrote: "Gonna have to sleep rough in London this Christmas to see the football on Boxing Day!"

The Premier League paused after matchday 16 across the weekend of November 12 and 13 as players met up with their national teams for the World Cup.

Clubs will return to action just eight days after the final with all 20 clubs playing across the three days after Christmas as part of a busy festive schedule. Three round of matches are scheduled between Boxing Day and January 4 before the FA Cup third round.

Elsewhere, the Championship, which paused for the group stage, will have a full schedule on Boxing Day, as will League One and League Two, which have continued throughout the tournament.


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