My question sounds easy: why is Boxing Day used as a match day in the English Premier League (EPL)?
The Wikipedia article on Boxing Day states that:
In England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it is traditional for the Premier League, Scottish Premier League and Irish Premier League respectively, as well as the lower divisions and rugby leagues, to hold a full programme of football and Rugby League matches on Boxing Day. Traditionally, matches on Boxing Day are played against local rivals. This was originally to avoid teams and their fans having to travel a long distance to an away game on the day after Christmas Day.
But, at the same moment, if I am seeing this correctly, Arsenal is free today.
How important is this Boxing Day as a match-day, and how did it became that important?Also, if it is important, then why Arsenal is free? Why not let the players celebrate Christmas with their families, as the fans will get to the stadiums on other days as well?