Premier League clubs make ‘unprecedented’ accessibility improvements

Liverpool is one club leading the way when it comes to disabled access. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Following months of pressure from campaign groups Premier League clubs have been praised for making an “unprecedented” improvement in disabled access. But eight are still yet to meet targets set out in a promise made in 2015 by top flight clubs to improve facilities for disabled supporters.

12 Premier League clubs have now met the Accessible Stadia Guide’s (ASG) standards, with more than 1,000 wheelchair bays being installed along with a number of Changing Places facilities.

A progress report has noted an increase in access solutions across many clubs including permanent sensory rooms, lowered catering counters and audio loops.

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Premier League executive director Bill Bush said that clubs have delivered substantial work to improve disabled access for their fans, according to Sky News.

He said: “The scale and scope of what has been undertaken across the Premier League is unprecedented in any other sport or entertainment sector.

“For clubs to have delivered more than 1,000 new wheelchair bays for fans, and the widespread installation of Changing Places facilities, shows how seriously they have taken this commitment.

“The two-year period to complete the work was a deliberately challenging target. Some clubs, particularly those with very old stadiums, have found significant built-environment challenges. For those clubs, money has not been the determining factor but disruption to fans and matchday operations means more time is required.”

In 2015, Premier League clubs promised that by the start of this month they would have met requirements set out in the Accessible Stadia Guide.

Given the wealth of Premier League clubs and that the total cost of changes has been estimated at around £7m, charities and pressure groups are urging clubs to lead the way when it comes to accessibility.

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