Arsenal have today confirmed their Premier League clash with London rivals West Ham on St Stephen's Day has been postponed due to the proposed industrial action on the London Underground.
Tube 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 the Gunners have decided to call off the clash at Emirates Stadium, with both clubs’ fans in mind.
“As a result of Monday’s strike ballot and the proposed industrial action on London Underground on Boxing Day, Arsenal’s Premier League match against West Ham United at Emirates Stadium, originally planned for Wednesday, December 26, has been postponed,” said a statement on the club’s official website.
“This decision has been made now, due to the preparation period needed to safely operate Emirates Stadium by all the relevant agencies.
“The paramount concern was always the duty of care towards the Arsenal supporters, West Ham United supporters, matchday employees and workers and indeed everyone who was planning to attend the game on Boxing Day.”
The fixture has yet to be rearranged but Arsenal did add: “The club can confirm that this rearranged fixture will be played on either Wednesday, January 23 (kick off 7.45pm) or Saturday, January 26 (kick off 3pm).
“The date of the fixture will be determined by the results in the FA Cup third round, which is being played on the weekend of Saturday, January 5 and Sunday, January 6.”
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 on January 18 and 25.