Christmas is a time of excess when it comes to food, drink and football.
But does the festive period, which is one of the English game’s oldest traditions, demand too much of players and fans?
This documentary attempts to find out.
Betway went to Norwich City, where we spoke to first-team stars Onel Hernandez, Sam Byram and Tom Trybull, plus club legend Grant Holt, about what the Christmas period is like for footballers, including the challenges they face off the pitch.
Are the Christmas Fixtures Good for Football?
The documentary also features contributions from father and son and lifelong Canaries fans Richard and Giles, who discuss the crucial role football plays in their Christmas routine.
Do players eat a full Christmas dinner even though they’re playing the next day? And how do players and fans find being away from their loved ones over the festive period?
Betway visited Norwich City to explore the impact the Christmas fixtures have on the lives of players and fans and to find out whether the period is good for football.
Highlights from the video include:
“If I wanted the starter, I’d have the starter, if I wanted the main, I’d have the main, if I wanted the dessert, I’d have two!” – Grant Holt on whether he watched what he ate on Christmas Day.
“It’s probably the most hectic time of the year.” – Norwich defender Sam Byram on how the Christmas period compares with other busy parts of the football season.
“Sorry, I’ve got to work at the moment. I can’t.” – Norwich first-team operations manager Jonny Martin on the sacrifices the staff working behind the scenes have to make.
“It’s not easy when you’re trying to put wheels on buggies and then all of a sudden, you’re saying: ‘Right, I’ll see you tomorrow.’” – Grant Holt on balancing being a player with a being a parent.
“Sometimes, a little biscuit on Christmas is not bad.” – Onel Hernandez discusses how he’ll prepare for Norwich’s game on Boxing Day.
“My wife will tell you that football does take priority all sorts of things.” Norwich fan Richard discusses his relationship with his son, Giles, and the role football plays in their lives over the Christmas period.
“I think that shows how important football is for these people, because most of them support the club for a long time.” – Tom Trybull