Football Clubs Break Accessible Promise

Despite initial promises in 2015 that they would improve stadium facilities for disabled football fans, premier league football clubs are being accused of putting finances before improving live football access access.

According to the Culture, Media and Sport elect committee, it is thought that several football clubs such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Watford will not be punished for breaking their promises on accessibility in stadiums.

Committee chairman Damian Collins MP said: “It is especially disappointing that some of the rich clubs are not doing more.

“Sports fans with disabilities are not asking for a large number of expensive changes, only to have their needs taken into account in the way sports stadia are designed and operated.

However the Premier League has spoken back, claiming that there are many logistical problems at some stadiums that prevent them for working on accessibility.

“At some grounds, particularly older ones, there are challenging built environment issues and, given that stadiums are in use throughout the football season, there is a limited period in which significant structural work can be done.”

Tony Taylor, Chair of Level Playing Field, a site that promotes accessibility to football fans  said: “We know from our own personal experiences that attending a football match or other sporting event really does make a difference for disabled people.

We will continue to provide expert user-led advice to clubs to facilitate this, but also to ensure that disabled fans do not have barriers placed before them when buying their tickets and can turn up at a game with the minimum of fuss, taking their place alongside fellow supporters to support their teams.

Surely, in the 21st Century, that is not too much to ask?”.

“On a positive note, I am delighted to state that we understand that West Ham United now not only meets, but exceeds the requirements for wheelchair user spaces in accessible stadia”.

Its clear that then there have been some positive developments towards accessibility at football grounds and with the guidance of organisations such as Level Playing Field, hopefully other Premier League Clubs will take inspiration from West Ham and meet their accessibility promises.

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