Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Manchester United rejected a request to play Everton at 8pm on Christmas Eve as "a non-starter".

The club were approached by TV company Setanta, who are screening the match live, to move the kick-off to the night before Christmas but it was dismissed out of hand.

Ferguson said: "The club were asked to play and it was a non-starter. Who wants to play on Christmas Eve?

"The players will be wanting to get their Christmas presents out for their children. That was an easy one to decide."

United will now play the match at Old Trafford at noon on December 23.

Their decision to reject Setanta's request was also backed up by Greater Manchester Police.