Transport strike threat forces Arsenal to delay match

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2011, 16:04 PM IST

London: Arsenal have postponed Monday`s home Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers for 24 hours because of a planned 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 December 26 Boxing Day bank holiday is going ahead despite the threatened travel shutdown.

"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," Arsenal said in a statement on their website (www.arsenal.com) on Thursday.

"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.

The planned strike is the result of a dispute over workers` bank holiday pay but the legality of the walkout has been challenged by the transport authorities and will be decided in the High Court in London later on Thursday.

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.

Bureau Report