Wolves to refund fans hit by Arsenal date switch over tube strike

• Arsenal put back Boxing Day game by 24 hours
• Fans and stadium staff faced severe disruption

Wolverhampton Wanderers have offered refunds to their fans who cannot attend the Premier League game at Arsenal after it was moved back 24 hours from Boxing Day because of a tube strike.

Wolves said they had no issue with switching the match to avert disruption for supporters. Arsenal announced on Thursday morning, even before a high court judge ruled that industrial action by tube drivers could go ahead, that the fixture would be postponed by a day.

A Wolves spokesman said the club regarded the affair as "just one of those things" and would refund tickets for their fans who cannot make the new date, provided they apply before noon on Saturday.

Explaining the decision to delay the match, Arsenal said: "The club has been liaising closely in order to make this decision, with all the relevant agencies, including the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Underground, the Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Islington Council.

"The paramount concern was always the duty of care towards the Arsenal supporters, Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters, match-day employees, workers and indeed everyone who was planning to attend the match on Boxing Day.

"In addition to the proposed industrial action on Boxing Day, there would also have been no services operating on overground train services into London on this day. Also, normal parking restrictions close to the stadium would have still applied. This would have caused severe disruption, or at worst, inability for supporters or matchday employees and workers to get to Emirates Stadium."

Arsenal added that tickets purchased for Boxing Day are still valid on 27 December, when the match will kick off at 3pm. Home supporters who cannot attend will not be eligible for a refund because the situation was deemed to be beyond the club's control, said a spokesman. Wolves, in their own statement, said: "The circumstances are out of the club's control but Wolves would like to apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused as a result of the date change."

One boost to supporters planning to attend Boxing Day fixtures is the likelihood of unseasonably mild weather. The Met Office confirmed on Thursday that the only festive warning they have issued relates to the potential for heavy rain in the south-west of Scotland.

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