Disabled facilities in the Premiership are not as bad as has been reported according to the Premier League.
The National Association of Disabled Supporters (NADS) recently announced that only two Premier League clubs provide enough spaces for disabled fans.
Only Bolton and Blackburn met the recommendation, with Arsenal falling just short with 96% of the recommended spacing.
NADS have called for the spacing and facilities for Premiership grounds to be improved. Portsmouth, Fulham and Tottenham failed to provide even a third of the spacing stated in the guidelines issues by NADS, but the Premier League insists that the recommendation is for future reference. “There was quite a lot of incorrect reporting around these recommendations. The guide referred to was a manual we put together as advice to architects building new stadia and is not a NADS recommendation, or meant to include existing grounds. We are pleased that two of our grounds already met the requirements and are confident that all new grounds will also meet, and possibly exceed, the minimum standards we have requested,” said Cathy Long, Head of Supporter Relations at the Premier League.
The recommendation states that grounds with a capacity of between 20,000 and 40,000 seats should provide 150 wheelchair spaces, plus 3 per every 1,000 seats above 20,000. Where as grounds with the capacity of 40,000 or more, are recommended to have 210 wheelchair spaces plus 2 for every 1,000 seats over 40,000.
Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium provides 251 spaces for wheelchairs, and despite being the most modern stadium in the Premiership, it still falls short of the high standards set by NADS.
On the other hand, the home of English football, Wembley, has been praised by the association and described as “an excellent example of a stadium that has incorporated the needs of disabled supporters into its design.”