Less than half of Premier League clubs reportedly have adequate disabled facilities.
Two years ago, Premier League clubs made a pledge to provide at least a minimum amount of wheelchair spaces and disabled toilets, which over half are reportedly failing to meet, claim The Sun.
“Premier League clubs have a duty to set an example to sports clubs all over the country, but far too many are still failing disabled people,” The Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt, said.
“Owners, managers and players come and go – it is the fans that remain constant and disabled supporters must be given equal priority.”
Tony Taylor, chair of the Level Playing Field, said: “The reality is that disabled sports fans still face an inequality of matchday experience when compared to non-disabled supporters.
“The Premier League clubs, with all of their significant wealth, should be at the forefront of that change. We urge the clubs to do the right thing and deliver on their own pledge made in 2015.”
It’s concerning because this isn’t a new problem. Back in 2014, only 15% of Premier League clubs provided adequate disabled facilities and while this numbers has obviously improved, it’s still not good enough.
The amount of wheelchair spaces required depends on the size of the ground. For example, for capacity of 20,000 to 40,000, 150 wheelchair spaces are needed. Any more than that and 210 are required, plus two for every 1,000 they go over 40,000.
Arsenal’s capacity is 60,432. Therefore, they need 250 wheelchair spaces.
In April, The Equality and Human Rights Commission claimed they haven’t. Apparently, they only meet it by 79%.
When it comes to disabled toilets, the ratio is supposed to be one cubicle for every 15 wheelchair users. Therefore, presumably, let’s say Arsenal have 250 wheelchair spaces, that means they have to have 17 disabled toilets, which the Gunners do meet.
It’s not good enough and it’s worrying to think that this is a legal requirement that they’ve pledged to fulfill and they haven’t. The Premier League clubs that aren’t meeting these requirements for their fans need to get their acts together.