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We’re supporting a research project to better understand how disabled spectators negotiate experiences of access and inclusion

Level Playing Field has been asked by Ulster University to share details of their research project where they are looking for disabled fans across the EFL to take part.

Connor Penfold from Ulster University shares this blog:

Disabled supporters’ experiences of access and inclusion in the English Football League.

Researchers at Ulster University are looking to speak to disabled football fans who support clubs in the English Football League.

The purpose of this research is to explore the lived experiences of disabled football fans. In doing so, this project aims to better understand how spectators negotiate experiences of access and inclusion in the English Football League.

We want to build on our understanding of the barriers that disabled football fans face at all levels.

The focus of this project is on fans of clubs in the English Football League (Championship, League 1 and League 2). In recent times, there has been more focus on Premier League disabled fans following the Premier League pledge in 2015. As such, this research seeks to develop a holistic understanding of the current barriers disabled people face across the English football landscape.

To achieve the aims of this project, this research is of a qualitative nature – which means we would like to speak to disabled people about their experiences of attending live football matches. The primary source of data collection for this research will take place via online interviews with football fans who meet the inclusion criteria:

  • Aged 18+.
  • Willing to take part in an interview (ideally via Teams/Zoom or other online platforms)
  • Disabled football fan with a physical disability.
  • Willing and able to give informed consent for interviews
  • Make use of accessible facilities and services when attending football matches.

This research has been ethically approved by Ulster University, and the anonymity of all participants will be upheld throughout the research process. The online interviews will last for approximately 60 minutes, and each interview can be broken down into 30-minute segments to ensure participants have a comfortable experience.

We are particularly keen to speak to individuals who hold roles within their Disabled Supporter Associations.

If you meet the inclusion criteria outlined above and are interested in participating in this project, or if you would like to know more, please contact Connor Penfold via email, telephone or Twitter.


Phone: 07711 901143

Twitter: @connor_penfold