- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
It is not unusual for Swansea City to be praised on the sports pages of the national press. However, what caught the eye of Assembly Member Joyce Watson this weekend was that Swansea City are one of only two Premier League football clubs that provide the recommended amount of wheelchair user spaces at its ground, the Liberty Stadium.
The Labour Mid and West AM said:
“Naturally I am proud that Swansea City is leading the way on providing access to disabled fans. It is completely unacceptable, though, that all but one of the other clubs in the Premier League – the richest football league in the world – is failing to meet these standards.”
Mrs Watson was commenting on a report by Lord Holmes, the disability commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, who has accused the Premier League of paying lip service to improving standards. Just two clubs, Leicester City and Swansea City, currently provide the recommended amount of wheelchair user spaces as laid out in the good practice guide, Accessible Stadia.
Lord Holmes said:
“This is the 23rd year of the Premier League yet the potential for disabled fans to access their clubs is shocking. It is possible to have high levels of inclusion and accessibility, irrespective of having old grounds, and given the huge recent TV deal, it would be scandalous if football does not do more.”
“We have had discussions with the Premier League and it is fair to say they are paying lip service to access for disabled people. As a result we are considering what steps to take. We have a number of powers and if individuals bring a case to us we would consider it within our litigation strategy.”