Oldham Athletic

Oldham Athletic

Assessment of Accessible Facilities

Stadium

Sports Direct.com Park

Address

 Boundary Park
Furtherwood Road
Oldham
OL1 2PA

Club / stadium contact for disabled supporters

Name

Judith Lane or Ron Cassidy

Telephone no.

0161 624 4972 or 0161 320 6955

Website address

Disabled Supporters Association

Contact Name

There is no DSA at present.

Telephone no.

E-mail address

Website address

 

 

Accessibility Information

For UK minimum access standards for new and existing stadia and for good practice guidance please click here.

 

Getting There & Parking

 

There is a club car park with 40 accessible spaces for both home and away supporter’s available, 50 metres away. Spaces can be reserved with the car park operatives. Drop of facilities are available.

 

National Rail have published links to the nearest stations to sporting venues including Oldham Athletic see here for more information.

 

Level Playing Field have not verified the information given and we suggest that you contact the station direct if you have any access requirements.

Getting a Ticket

 

For further  information on purchasing a ticket please visit the Oldham Athletic website.

 

The contacts at the club for disabled fans are Ron Cassidy, Disability Liaison Officer (0161 320 6955) or Judith Lane, Club Office (0161 785 5179)

roncass_99@yahoo.co.ukorjudith.lane@oldhamathletic.co.uk

Spectator Viewing areas

 

Home supporters have 34 spaces for wheelchair users available to them, and these can be found at pitchside and in an elevated area in the Rochdale Road stand and Chadderton Road stand.

 

12 spaces for away supporters who are wheelchair users can be found in an elevated area in the Rochdale Road stand . Supporters with ambulant disabilities are available.(10 for home supporters and 5 for away supporters).

 

Please note: As a result of the continuing development work at Boundary Park, several changes have been made to the facilities available for disabled fans for the 2013/14 season, these do not affect visiting supporters.

 

Wheelchair supporters will be accommodated at the front of the Chaddy End or rear of the Verlin Stand. A temporary toilet facility will be installed between the Chaddy End and the development work site to ensure that supporters are not inconvenienced.

 

Ambulant disabled supporters should contact the club on 0161 785 5179 to ensure that they can be seated in a location appropriate to their requirements.

 

NB: Under existing minimum standards for accessible stadia, the club should have 100 wheelchair spaces (85 home and up to 15 away). 75% of these should be elevated positions and the remaining 25% pitchside.

 

LPF's view is that many disabled supporters should be able to access general seating areas and only those with specific needs eg those who require extra legroom, or access via aisle seats or who need step free access etc should be allocated seats in the dedicated areas.

 

Based on the above, the club therefore only meets 46% of the guidance and has a shortfall of 54 wheelchair spaces. They should be working on a plan to rectify this deficit within a reasonable timeframe under the auspices of a full independent Access Audit.

Accessible amenities

 

Both home and away fans can use accessible toilets inside the stadium. The club shop is not accessible for all fans and does not have a low level serving counter. Catering kiosks in the home and away sections have low level serving counters and so are fully accessible.

Accessible services & information

 

The club does not have a hearing loop. Match commentaries are not available. Facilities for assistance dogs are not available. The concourses do not have rest areas included.

 

Updated October 2013.

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Comments

Janet Ireland

Match: Oldham v SUFC April 2014

Published: 14/5/2014

 

Written on behalf of the fans that attended as I would NEVER go again.

 

Definitely NO better.  NO stewards at 3pm or later.  The wheelchair area is in a good place under cover and near to ammenities if there is no one in the seats in front because they always stand up.  Police asked supporters to sit down but they stood up again when police moved away.  We know it is our own fans but things could be better if the 3 rows at the back were netted off as it was not a sell out and there was plenty of room further down the stand.  

 

Toilets NO hot water, NO emergency pull cord. Seats too low down for disabled fans to sit on.  Coach park bad for pushing wheelchairs on, very rough surface.

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Jeff

Match: Oldham V Notts County 4th May 2014

Published: 4/5/2014

 

Since being a wheelchair user I had not travelled to any away match prior to this must not lose game at Oldham Athletic to complete our great escape from what seemed almost inevitable relegation to division 2. As an ambulant supporter I had previously travelled the length and breadth of the country following my team of choice without a second thought. However, things have now changed and a little more planning has to be put in place before embarking on any journey, let alone a football match!

 

I went on the OAFC website, checked it out and fired an email off to Ron before purchasing my ticket to allay any fears I had re parking and general accessibility etc. Ron duly answered and said ticket was purchased from the Meadow Lane ticket office which meant for the first time I was on the road as a wheelchair spectator. Once at the ground we entered the car park and were directed to the disabled parking spaces which are directly outside the away fans entrance and were also given the virtue of being waived the £5 parking charge to boot….(bonus).  Upon getting out of my car we were greeted by Ron himself too, which was a nice touch. Although he wished me well he stopped short of wishing me good luck.

 

Entering the ground could not have been easier as we were led through the gate directly adjacent to the turn stiles by a steward, and bosh, we were there, totally hassle free!  Once inside on the concourse there were bars and burger vans etc and easy access to the accessible toilets. I read on an earlier post that there was a small step to negotiate but the only toilet I used had been ramped with concrete so no such problem was encountered. I will say at this point, due to the size of our following (3,500) the whole of the Verlin Stand aka the Rochdale Road Stand was designated to away fans and the toilet was in the far right hand corner when facing the stand so cannot comment if there was another one to the left and this may need considering if the stand is split between home and away fans as this is generally the case for most of their home games.

 

Everything was accessible for me except the portable bar, which is out of reach of any wheelchair user due to being so high. However, if you are with a carer or friends this is not a problem as they get to queue whilst you take in the atmosphere and it sells real Ale too, which softens the blow. The wheelchair spaces for viewing the game are at the back of the stand and come with an excellent view of the game so long as there’s no 6 foot blokes stood in front of you. But to be honest, you are free to move around if you so wish to get the best view if at all possible and the carer’s seats are next to the wheelchair spaces and your really part of the atmosphere.

 

All in all it was good to travel again and my experience was a good one (albeit being helped by the 1-1 score line and relegation being staved off) with no issues at all and would recommend anyone thinking of travelling to Boundary Park to watch their team play to do so with confidence.  As we left the ground we bumped into Ron again, we shook hands and said we will meet again next season. As I stated previously this was my first experience travelling to an away ground as a wheelchair user and have nothing to compare it against but It worked for me.

 

 

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Ron Cassidy, OAFC Disability Officer

Match: Reply to Wolverhampton Wanderers fans regarding their recent visit to Boundary Park

Published: 20/11/2013

 

We are naturally very sorry they had a negative experience on the day.  We are all well aware here that Boundary Park is an old ground well passed its sell by date, and offers facilities that are less than ideal for all fans, never mind disabled ones.  All we can say is that we are doing our best to make disabled fans as welcome as possible, and in our opinion the stewards work very hard to that end.

 

The problem of obstruction caused by standing fans is a universal problem, visible on every ground.  

 

To our Wolverhampton friends the very obvious point to make is that it was their own fans, not Oldham fans, causing the obstructed views. (The same applies to the earlier comment from the Sheffield United fan).  It is a point worth addressing therefore to their own clubs as well as to Oldham Athletic.  It is in practice very difficult for stewards to prevent this happening, as they run the risk of verbal abuse or even violence when they attempt to do so.  It is worth noting that when Liverpool came to us in the FA Cup last season we spoke before the game to the Liverpool DLO and he was quite philosophical about and accepting of the problem.

 

It does sound on this occasion as though the stewards did try to help the people in question to get an unobstructed view.  As for stewards standing in front of the fans we cannot comment.  That directive would have come from the Safety Officer on advice from the police.  It does however sound very unfortunate.

 

We do hope the fans concerned will visit us at Boundary Park again.  They will be very welcome, and we will do our best for them within our very obvious limitations.

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Lin Corbett

Match: FA Cup Vs Wolves (away fans)

Published: 17/11/2013

 

Attended this cup match with two supporters who have learning disability, and one with limited mobility, but not a wheelchair user, and a helper. We had pre-booked a blue badge space and were parked directly outside the away stand. We arrived very early and were allowed to all enter through an accessible gate in order to use the toilet even though the ground was not open and then returned to our car to await the opening time.

 

The seating was unallocated and the stand was entered from the rear with a wheelchair platform and some ‘higher’ chairs available for use by disabled supporters. However it was obvious that our view would be obstructed by fans standing in front of this area so we decided to move down to the front of the stand. The stairs down were quite shallow so at a push this was achievable with support for people  with limited mobility. We were stopped about 10 rows from the front by a steward who informed us that unless more fans than anticipated turned up, would remain unused.

 

This was a fair point as the weather was awful with wind rain hail thunder lightning and at one time even snow and the roof did not shelter the front rows. We talked to stewards and were assured that if they needed to use the seats nearer the front then they would allow us to move further forwarded to ensure our view was un obstructed if we remained seated. This was fine until it was apparent at kick off that the stewards were going to stand in the row in front of us, completely obscuring our view. We addressed this but whilst discussing we missed the kick off and first goal!

 

We were then directed to move across the aisle to the centre and had a slightly better but still obstructed view.  My friends who are wheelchair users and therefore had no choice but to stay at the top of the stand later confirmed that their view had been completely obscured throughout the match. Not a great experience and don’t think I will be returning for the league match.

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J&J

Match: 09/02/13

Published: 20/2/2013

 

Our second visit to Boundary Park as away fans travelling in our club’s wheelchair accessible mini-bus.    Be sure to park at the top of the hill and not the bottom, as it is a very steep path up.   Our experiences would concur with earlier reviewers.   The only additional comment I would make is that Boundary Park is the only ground I have visited that has a step (about 2 inch depth) into the accessible loo at the away end, in front of you on the left as you enter.   Whilst this may prove difficult for manual chairs, in my powerchair, I had to turn up the speed to get up it and then almost crashed into the back wall trying to stop in time!  Persist with the hot water supply it does work despite its appearance suggesting otherwise.  

It is worth noting, the away fans nearest the home fans at Boundary Park, are a lot of very vocal youngsters who made very personally offensive remarks to one of our ambulant disabled fans.  The stewards seem to take the attitude there is nothing they can do with them as they are kids.   I will email the club separately to bring this to their attention. 

 

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Michael McCarthy

Match: Oldham Athletic V Everton 16th Feb 2013

Published: 19/2/2013

 

Went by coach from Goodison Park to Boundary Park arriving in good time. Easy access and helpful personnel. Ground management agreed to move Michael and I to more suitable seating area. Understanding and common sense from their staff.

 

No head set commentary but did receive excellent radio reception from BBC Radio 5. Prior to the game we spoke to Ron the disability officer who told us about no commentary. He came to see us before KO to ask if all was well.

 

All in all a good experience, thanks to all at Boundary Park.

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Tim

Match: Oldham vs Exeter City 20/12/2010

Published: 25/10/2012

 

Oldham were very helpful to us. I spoke to Ron prior to our visit and he gave us great information and even met us by the away end to make sure everything was ok. Parking was outside the entrance and free to blue badge holders. View was good, at the back of the stand and under cover. Didn't have any fans in front of us but may have effected view if there had been some and they had been standing.

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Sheffield United Disabled Supporters

Match: Oldham Athletic v Sheffield United 06/08/2011

Published: 25/10/2012

 

No stewards, no view of match.

Very good view if no one in front. Although they were away fans they all stood up in front of wheelchairs so no one saw the match.No room for carers to stand as the "Keep Clear for disabled only" spaces were full of non disabled fans. No steward on duty after 3pm so no one to help. Definitely will NOT go there again

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