Premier League clubs failing on accessible stadium pledge

Posted: March 7, 2017

Premier League clubs should be doing more to meet a commitment to make their stadiums accessible to fans with disabilities.

Last year the Premier League pledged that grounds would meet Accessible Stadia standards by a deadline of August 2017.

But with just eight months to go, we remain concerned by a lack of response from clubs, which suggests they may not be taking this pledge seriously enough.

The Government recently criticised clubs for poor standards of disabled access, and we would certainly like to see more action taken ahead of the deadline.

If this pledge is not met, or clubs fail to grasp the importance of making football accessible to all fans, it may be that fines and other penalties need to be considered.

These penalties can be scalable to clubs with stadiums that are older and therefore might find it harder to meet all the criteria. However, there are simple solutions that every club can do to its ground to make the experience better.

Inaction isn’t acceptable.

We would like to see the 11 million disabled people in this country really being considered, not just being paid lip service. We’re not asking for anything for free, we simply want the needs of disabled people to be catered for in the same way as everyone else.

It’s not enough that a fan can get into the ground.

We want to ensure there is an accessible website where they can buy tickets. We need to see more wheelchair accessible viewing areas, and better planning of facilities close to these areas. Right now, if you are in a wheelchair and have three kids, how can you go to watch your football team?

To find out more about making all sports stadia accessible, please visit the website for Level playing Field, an organising campaigning for change, at: http://www.levelplayingfield.org.uk/.