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Football Stadiums are still failing disabled fans

Wheelchair user at football ground
Wheelchair user at football ground Image credit:

There’s still room for improvement to make football stadiums more accessible for disabled supporters.

That’s the message being given out after Premier League clubs were reassessed, only seven clubs have adequate accessible toilets and seven clubs are breaking the rules for providing adequate facilities for visitors with a disability.

In 2014 a BBC study revealed 17 of 20 stadiums did not offer a satisfactory amount of wheelchair spaces following the investigation the Premier League promised to improve their services before August 2017.

Chairman of Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), David Isaac has threatened to investigate clubs falling behind standard procedures and not meeting minimum requirements.

"The end of the season is fast approaching and time is running out for clubs," Isaac said.

"The information we received from some clubs was of an appalling standard, with data missing and with insufficient detail. What is clear is that very few clubs are doing the minimum to meet the needs of disabled supporters.

"The Premier League itself does not escape blame. They need to make the concerns of disabled fans a priority and start enforcing their own rule book. We will be meeting individual clubs and asking them to explain themselves and tell us what their plans are."

Activism manager for Mencap, Clare Lucas added: "For too long Premier League clubs have neglected the needs of their disabled fans, many of whom are forced to be changed on toilet floors, because clubs are yet to install proper facilities. It is simply inexcusable,"

The EHRC reveals Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Hull, Liverpool, Man Utd, Stoke, Sunderland, Tottenham, Watford, West Brom have failed to provide enough wheelchair spaces.

Bournemouth, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Hull, Middlesbrough, Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea, Tottenham, Watford, West Brom do not provide enough accessible toilets.

Burnley, Crystal Palace, Hull, Man Utd, Middlesbrough, Stoke, West Ham do not publish any access statements for disabled fans.

Campaigners believe up to a third of clubs will miss the August 2017 deadline.