‘The time for excuses is over’: Premier League clubs warned about access for disabled fans
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‘The time for excuses is over’: Premier League clubs warned about access for disabled fans

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Almost half of the clubs in the Premier League will not meet requirements for disabled fan access by the 2017/18 season, prompting the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to warn: “The time for excuses is over.”

Current champions Leicester City, Manchester City, Swansea City and West Ham United are already compliant with the Accessible Stadia Guide’s requirements for the number of wheelchair spaces at their grounds.

A further seven clubs have pledged to expand their capacity for disabled supporters in line with the guide by the start of the 2017/18 season – the timeframe set by the Premier League.

All 20 clubs have promised to improve accessibility and increase the number of spaces, but clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur will not make the deadline.

The latter two are building new stadiums. Chelsea has recently received planning permission to build a new ground, while Tottenham will move into its Populous-designed stadium in time for the 2018/19 season.

David Isaac, chair of the EHRC, reiterated the body’s stance that clubs will “face legal action” if they don’t comply with the Accessible Stadia Guide.

“Premier League promised that disabled access would be improved by the start of the next season so it is disappointing that a number of clubs will fail to meet that deadline,” said Isaac.

He added: “The time for excuses is over.”

Lobby group Level Playing Field said it was disappointed that clubs would “not be achieving their self-imposed commitment”.

“Disabled fans have, for years, shown their dedication and support for their clubs and it is now high time for Premier League clubs to reciprocate by showing their commitment to promoting true equality for disabled fans,” said Level Playing Field’s Tony Taylor.

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Almost half of the clubs in the Premier League will not meet requirements for disabled fan access by the 2017/18 season, prompting the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to warn: “The time for excuses is over.”
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