Boxing Day clash under threat
Published 18/12/2012 | 13:49
Arsenal's match against West Ham on Boxing Day is likely to be called off due to the threat of a tube strike, Press Association Sport understands.
London Underground drivers are to stage three strikes in a row over Bank Holiday pay, with the first scheduled for December 26. The move by members of the union Aslef threatens travel chaos in the capital and has called into question whether games will go ahead as planned.
The all-London clash between the Gunners and the Hammers looks set to fall by the wayside. The game is likely to be called off and an official statement is expected on Tuesday afternoon, with the match expected to be rescheduled for either January 23 or 26.
It is one of three Premier League matches in London slated for Boxing Day, with the other two still going ahead as planned. QPR have reiterated to Press Association Sport on Tuesday afternoon that their match with West Brom is "definitely going ahead", while Fulham insist they have no plans to cancel their match with Southampton.
There are also a number of London clubs hosting Boxing Day matches in the Football League.
Charlton have confirmed they are "monitoring the situation" ahead of their npower Championship clash with Ipswich but "can't see there being any problems". Leyton Orient say their League One encounter with Swindon will be "going ahead as planned" despite the potential disruptions.
AFC Wimbledon are not expecting any impact to their League Two match against Northampton as the nearest stations to their Kingsmeadow home are mainline.
Dagenham and Redbridge, who host Southend, are another expecting their Boxing Day match to go ahead.
"At this moment in time there is no question of the game being called off," the club told Press Association Sport. "We are playing Southend and there is a mainline direct to Barking so they should not be disrupted."
The tube strike was announced on Monday as Aslef members voted by 9-1 in favour of strikes in a long-running row over extra pay for working on Bank Holidays. They are due to walk out for 24 hours on December 26, and again on January 18 and 25.