Now is the last chance for Premier League clubs to improve their access facilities for disabled fans after the Government accused some of failing supporters.
In 2015, Premier League clubs promised that by the start of next month they would have met requirements set out in the Accessible Stadia Guide.
But a new report by The Telegraph has shown that it is likely that some clubs will fall short of this commitment. This comes in spite of warnings from the Government, the charity Level Playing Field and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
It was reported that the EHRC is already preparing to take legal action against some of the ‘worst clubs’. It is hoped that clubs will rush to complete and install access solutions in the next month to avoid legal action.
“Premier League clubs have a duty to set an example to sports clubs all over the country, but far too many are still failing disabled people,” Penny Mordaunt, the minister for disabled people, work and wealth, told the newspaper. “Owners, managers and players come and go – it is the fans that remain constant and disabled supporters must be given equal priority.”
A study by the EHRC found that most clubs were not providing the minimum recommended spaces for wheelchairs. It also found that just seven out of 20 clubs provided Changing Places facilities. Many Premier League clubs have however, already started on stadium upgrades and investing in facilities for disabled supporters, due to be completed by the deadline.
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.