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Upto a third of Premier League clubs could fail disabled supporters guidelines

 

 Football News 24/

A third of Premier League clubs are potentially going to miss the deadline, which Premier League clubs set, to meet basic access standards for disabled fans, campaigners have said.

Last year, the Premier League stated that by August 2017 clubs would  meet new guidelines to improve the facilities within stadiums for disabled supporters.

The move to introduce new and improved guidelines came after a 2014 BBC investigation found that 17 out of the 20 clubs failed to provide enough space for wheelchair users.

The delay has been described as "unacceptable" by the chair of Level Playing Field,  Joyce Cook.

"We think up to a third of clubs are not going to meet this pledge," Cook added. "This is a promise that they made themselves, they set their own deadline."

One of the most high profile clubs set to miss the deadline are Liverpool, despite spending £100m to redevelop thier Main Stand, which opened last weekend.The club has upgraded its facilities for disabled fans however, the improvements haven't been sufficient enough to meet requirements.

Another high profile cub which isn't expected to meet the deadline is Chelsea. A spokesperson for the club stated: "This is an issue we take very seriously, however we are constrained by an old stadium"

"A planning application for a redeveloped ground at Stamford Bridge has been lodged with the local council which, if approved, will see the construction of a new stadium that will exceed the Accessible Stadia Guidelines."

Lord Holmes, from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, has increased the pressure on Premier League clubs by raising the potential of legal action if the clubs did not comply with the official guidance.

"There are clear sanctions in the equality act which Premier League clubs may find themselves on the end of," he said.

"I think anyone out there would understand that it's perfectly reasonable for a Premier League club to be accessible. We have the richest, the most profitable league on the planet. That has to be the most inclusive league as well otherwise it is morally bankrupt."

JC

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