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Premier League clubs come under fire from disabled supporter group

 

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According to a press release on Boxing day - traditionally the busiest football day of the year Government Ministers are calling on disabled sports fans to take part in the most comprehensive review of their treatment at sports grounds.

In what is hoped will be the largest survey of its kind the Government wants Britain's 12 million disabled people to share their experience of viewing live sport at sports grounds across Britain.

Organisers want to hear from fans of all sports - not just football - in particular rugby, cricket, hockey, basketball, cycling and motor racing.

The survey comes after the Government called on Britain's football leagues to take urgent action to redress the "woeful" lack of support and space for disabled spectators, reminding them of their legal obligations to provide room for disabled fans.

Many venues lack sufficient support and space for disabled sports fans

Research showed nearly half of Premier League football clubs do not offer half the wheelchair space they should for disabled people.

Mark Harper, Minister for disabled people, said: "For too long in this country disabled sports fans have been treated like second-class citizens at many sporting venues.

"And yet one in five of us have an impairment, and disabled people and their households have a spending power of over £200bn.

"We know the situation in football is unacceptable and it's not only wheelchair access that falls short, but adjustments for people with all kinds of impairments.

"We encourage all sports fans with a disability to tell us of their experiences at sporting venues, so we can get a clear picture of whether disabled sports fans are being treated fairly."

Joyce Cook from Level Playing Field said: "The experience of disabled sports fans varies across the country. Our research shows that many clubs are operating what seem to be discriminatory policies when it comes to season and away tickets.

"And if you can actually get there, the inability to sit with your own fans, poor sight lines and the lack of accessible provisions can be so bad that you would have had a better experience watching it on TV.

"That's not acceptable and it's time all clubs and venues took their legal obligations seriously - and recognised the value of the purple pound."

KN

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