Round Up is a new feature linking you to updates from the office.
This month we report on our Access Audit service, our updated Ticketing Policy for disabled supporters/customers, our attendance at the Fans Experience Forum and the Independent Football Ombudsman & Supporter Meeting and finally, How You Can Help Us.
Access Audits :
Since the recent appointment of Ruth Hopkins as Access & Development Manager at Level Playing Field, we have our own in house NRAC Access Auditor and we are uniquely placed to provide audits specifically written for sports stadia. Our audits look beyond the built environment and physical barriers to include policies and practices and include the whole match day experience for disabled supporters. We can also provide advice, Design Appraisals and Access Statements to support new projects and funding applications. See here for more information on our access audits.
Level Playing Field has received a lot of correspondence and phone calls through the summer from concerned supporters and clubs regarding the changes in Disability Benefits and how this would affect disabled supporters purchasing their season tickets. Level Playing Field cannot legislate how a club manages their ticketing policy but many do speak to us for advice and we offer guidance in our ‘LPF ticketing policy for disabled supporters / customers’ publication.
We are pleased to report that most of the cases referred to us have been resolved and we are happy to act as mediator between a concerned supporter and his/her club in confidence.
On 5th June Level Playing Field attended the Fans Experience Forum at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, chaired by Dr Bernard Mullin from the USA. This was part of the three day Stadium Summit with attendees from all over the world. There were some very interesting high profile speakers sharing their experiences and best practice and it was encouraging to hear so many key players in the industry placing the fans, social media and communication and the match day experience at the top of their agendas. Unfortunately Disability as a topic was rarely mentioned, endorsing what we already know – that there is still a lot of work for us to do.
On 25th June Level Playing Field were invited with representatives from Kick It Out, Supporters Direct and the FSF to a meeting at Wembley hosted by the Independent Football Ombudsman to discuss issues arising from the IFO’s activities.
The IFO adjudicates on complaints which have already been dealt with by a club and governing body as an Appeals panel and is the final stage in football’s complaints procedure.
We were pleased Disability Issues were on the Agenda and to be given the opportunity to speak about our core activity promoting good access for all disabled fans.
Level Playing Field publishes guidance on “How to Complain” and offers our members support through the process.
Do you travel to Away games ?
We know that the facilities and provision for visiting supporters is inappropriate and unsatisfactory in far too many cases. Level Playing Field would like to hear about your experiences. Please email us a short report to email@example.com or post the information on our web site under the name of the club you visited (anonymously if you prefer) and we will a) Make sure the club knows about it and b) Add it to a list of case studies. To post your comment just click on the relevant sport, then the club and scroll down to the comments section.
Both Leagues have stated they will be looking to improve provision for Away fans but we need to tell them where the problems are!
Make it part of your match day routine – please send us a brief report within a few days.