Arsenal have postponed Monday’s home Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers for 24 hours because of a strike by London Underground train drivers which threatens to plunge the capital into chaos.
The match at the Emirates Stadium will now be played on Tuesday at 1500 GMT, but Chelsea’s fixture against neighbours Fulham at Stamford Bridge on the Dec. 26 Boxing Day bank holiday is going ahead despite the travel shutdown.
Arsenal took the decision to delay the match just hours before the High Court rejected a legal attempt to stop the strike.
London Underground had asked the court to outlaw the strike by members of the Aslef union who are demanding more pay, but Mr Justice Eder ruled the stoppage could go ahead, the Press Association reported.
In a statement explaining why they were putting the match back 24 hours, Arsenal said:
“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 statement on their website (www.arsenal.com) added: “The paramount concern was always the duty of care towards the Arsenal supporters, Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters, matchday employees, workers and indeed everyone who was planning to attend the match on Boxing Day.”
The club said that as there were no services operating on mainline train services into London on the day, there was likely to have been “severe disruption, or at worst, inability for supporters or matchday employees and workers” to get to the match.
Lower league matches in and around London will also be going ahead with the Championship (second division) matches between Watford and Cardiff City and Millwall and Portsmouth taking place.
Leyton Orient’s match with MK Dons and Brentford’s clash against Bournemouth in League One (third division), as well as the League Two (fourth division) fixtures between Wimbledon and Oxford United and Dagenham & Redbridge and Barnet will also be played.