The best things about Boxing Day football

The best things about Boxing Day football are being able to snack on festive leftovers, almost every team playing on one day – and having an excuse to take a break from the family.

A survey of 2,000 football fans found many love the congested calendar around Christmas as they get to watch their team several times over the festive break.

The sheer number of games to watch (23 per cent) and finally saying goodbye to ‘Christmassy’ TV and movies (23 per cent) also scored high among fans.

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While 12 per cent relish watching games with the anticipation of the January transfer window about to open.

Other reasons fans love festive football include it being a perfect excuse to have a ‘break’ from the family (14 per cent) and seeing squad players get a runout (nine per cent).

A spokesperson for Lottoland’s Sportsbook, which commissioned the research, said: "Boxing Day is a sacred time for football fans. While players and managers might occasionally moan about having to miss out on the Christmas pudding with games kicking off left right and centre, fans love it.

“It’s not just the matches on the 26th, the festive period as a whole is jam-packed with games to watch, so there are plenty of opportunities to have a ‘break’ from the family as so many seem to want.”

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On average, footie fans will watch five games live throughout December – one every six days – although some will sit through 10 or more.

Over a third of fans (39 per cent) will be placing bets on the matches over that time, with 28 per cent believing they are luckier with their wins during the Christmas period.

More than half (54 per cent) will use the opportunity to bond with family members over matches, and 32 per cent are more likely to watch games their team isn’t even playing in, just because they’re on. For one in four, watching football on December 26th is simply more enjoyable than any other time of year, with 54 per cent saying it even makes them proud to be British.

An integral part to the festive season

While 59 per cent will catch a match on TV, 15 per cent will don hats and scarves to watch a game live. Around a tenth will head to the pub, while a similar figure will settle down at a relative’s house to watch the action.

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However, 28 per cent admitted the prospect of their team losing can ruin the entire festive period for them.

It also emerged 43 per cent confessed to having no sympathy at all for Premier League footballers who have to play a match on December 26th, when most of the rest of the nation has the day off. The study, carried out via OnePoll, found 34 per cent of people claim their partner knows full well not to make any social plans on Boxing Day – as it’s going to be devoted to football.

And it’s not only the men’s game captivating fans over the festive period, with 32 per cent planning on tuning into women’s football.

Lottoland’s spokesperson added: “From December 1st right through to New Year’s Day, the festive period is one of the most storied in the football calendar. And it’s no surprise to see that so many football fans will be betting on the action over Christmas, though the fact that nearly a third think it’s a ‘lucky’ time of year for them is interesting indeed.

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“Perhaps it’s something about the magic of Christmas, but either way, here’s hoping for lots of Sportsbook wins this festive season."

The best things about Boxing Day football

  1. Being able to snack on Christmas leftovers
  2. The fact that every team plays
  3. Having people around to watch the football with
  4. The sheer number of games to watch
  5. You can finally turn off all the ‘Christmassy’ TV and movies
  6. Watching my team loads over the festive break
  7. Gives you a chance to decompress from the Christmas craziness
  8. Getting to go to the game live
  9. Going to watch the games to escape
  10. It's the halfway point in the season
  11. Having the perfect excuse to have a ‘break’ from the family
  12. An excuse to see mates over family
  13. Not having to take time off work to watch games
  14. The anticipation of the January transfer window opening soon
  15. With so many games you see some squad rotation and players who don’t normally start

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