Today, the Equality and Human Rights Commission have published their report on the progress of the 2015 pledge, where all Premier League Clubs vowed their clubs would meet minimum accessibility standards by 2017.
In response to the EHRC report, Tony Taylor, Chair of Level Playing Field, said:
“Level Playing Field has campaigned on behalf of disabled sports fans for twenty years and welcomes the EHRC report. The report focuses on 23 Premier League clubs and what they are doing to make their grounds more accessible.
Unfortunately, there is little doubt that it has taken the threat of enforcement by the Commission to drive change at some clubs, but the overall picture is positive. Clubs now recognise the importance and benefits of good access and there have been increases across the league in the provision for disabled fans including; more wheelchair user spaces, easy access and amenity seats, accessible and Changing Places toilets, sensory rooms as well as staff training.
We cannot be complacent, however, recognising that there is still much work to do. Level Playing Field will continue to work with the clubs and governing bodies to provide advice and support. We naturally welcome the continued commitment of the EHRC.
A benchmark has been set and this will have an effect on all clubs as they move up the football pyramid.
The Premier League pledge has demonstrated what can be done in a relatively short period of time, but in reality disabled fans have been treated unfairly for many years. It is going to take time to regain their trust and for them to have the confidence that they can enjoy their match day experience. Disabled fans are not asking for special treatment, they want the same as everyone else; to be able to turn up at the ground, watch the match, have refreshments, use the toilets and facilities, then go home with the minimum of fuss. Surely, in 2018 that is not too much to ask?”
The report can be found at: EHRC
The EHRC’s press release can be found here.
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