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BBC Inside Out: Football League clubs ‘failing to meet disabled guidelines’

A BBC Inside Out (East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire) report has shown how many football league clubs are failing to meet accessible stadia standards, with a majority of clubs in their region falling below the minimum requirements.


The report found that only 2 clubs, Rotherham United and Huddersfield Town, exceeded the minimum requirement of wheelchair user spaces in the region.

Joshua Gardner, a wheelchair user and football fan visited several clubs to learn how accessible they were, and to speak to disabled fans themselves of their experiences of attending games, with one York City fan saying ‘they do the best with what they’ve got’ before adding ‘they need to be better really’.

The programme also covered issues such as accessible parking close to the stadium as well as a choice of accessible seating areas.

Responding to the findings, the Football League released the following statement:

‘Instead of spending the resources we have on extra capacity for which there may be no demand, our focus in to improve the matchday experience for those disabled supporters who do attend’.

Joshua Gardner, speaking on the BBC Look North programme about disabled access replied to the statement by saying that demand for the bigger games such as Football League Play-offs and FA Cup ties meant that disabled fans often couldn’t get tickets ‘because there is not enough room’.

It was also suggested that disabled fans could bring their cases to court if progress isn’t made, with Disability Rights Barrister Catherine Casserley saying, ‘if changes aren’t made then people really do need to take their cases to court’.

Joyce Cook OBE, Chair of Level Playing Field speaking on the programme said, ‘time is running out for excuses and I genuinely think disabled people’s patience is running out’.

You can watch both feature stories on BBC iPlayer at the following links:

BBC Inside Out – Yorkshire & Lincolnshire (from 10.28)

BBC Look North – Yorkshire (from 12.30)

Further reading:

BBC News – Football League clubs ‘failing to meet disabled guidelines’