Premier League – Boxing Day 2019
Soccer on Boxing Day 2019 is a long-held English tradition whereby league matches of Premier League are played on December 26th. Boxing Day gets its name from an old custom where the rich gave boxes of gifts to the poor.
When the fixtures are released in the summer, fans are eager to see who their side are playing, as it is often an occasion when the entire family go to a match.
Matches are traditionally played against local rivals or teams within a close proximity of each other so as to avoid supporters having to travel a long distance after Christmas Day when the train timetables are reduced.
Why Premier League Soccer Played on Boxing Day in England?
Having 10 games all in one day at a time when most of the other soccer leagues across the globe are shut down means that the eyes of the world are on the Premier League. This means extra revenue for advertisers and undoubtedly strengthens the hand of the Premier League when it comes to negotiating TV rights deals.
Commercially, it is also a money-spinner for the the clubs because most people around the country are on holiday, meaning they can travel to soccer games. This results in bumper gate receipts and a prime reason why those calling for a winter break are unlikely to get their way.
History: What Prompted the Tradition?
The romantics believe that the boxing day soccer tradition in England came about as a result of English and German soldiers downing their weapons during World War I in 1914 and playing a friendly game of soccer.
It seems that a kickabout did take place in Belgium, but weather it was a full-scale match or a few men knocking a ball about is open to debate.
Nonetheless, the English Football Association paid tribute on its 100-year anniversary by organizing a tribute match between soldiers from Great Britain and Germany in 2014, calling it the “Game of Truce”.