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SBD Global/March 21, 2014/Facilities

Level Playing Field Charity Claims Premier League Stadiums Are Failing Disabled Fans

A "leading disability charity" said that EPL clubs are "discriminating against their own fans," according to Katie Gornall of the BBC. A BBC study found that "only three top-flight stadiums currently provide the required number of wheelchair spaces." Of the 20 clubs in the Premier League, "eight fail to offer even half of what they should under national guidelines -- a situation that has remained largely unchanged for more than five years." Level Playing Field Chair Joyce Cook called for "radical change, claiming football has become 'stuck' on the subject of disability." Cook: "It's hard to get tickets, specifically for away games and especially for wheelchair users. When you get there, the sight lines can be pretty grim and it can be quite a miserable experience." The EPL "insisted it was working hard to accommodate disabled supporters." Arsenal fan and wheelchair user Anthony Joy, however, said that "guidelines on disabled facilities were not being adhered to 'in any way, shape or form'" (BBC, 3/18).
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