The Paralympian, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, has today launched a scathing attack on the best of the best when it comes to football in the UK due to their lack of ability to consider those with disabilities when it comes to ticket sales and formation.
In addressing the House of Lords, as is her right, she said that top clubs, including Manchester United and Chelsea, simply do not have adequate seating for disabled people of differing disabilities. She added that these clubs have enough money to be able to make the adjustments needed but choose not to. She mentions Manchester United as an example but then insists that some clubs in the top flight do not have any seating for those who have a disability, which in these days of equal rights, seems incredible to say the least!
It is her belief that certain clubs “refuse to sell season tickets to [supporters with a disability] and that they only have 42% of the accessible seating that they should.” Indeed, she says that at other clubs “it is impossible to buy one because of the lack of accessible seating!”
Manchester United have responded to her comments, adding that they make as many seats available as are needed and requested. But if her claims are true then the clubs in the Premier League have a responsibility to those below them in the league, to show them the way forward. What the owners of these clubs need to consider is not only their stance on equal rights for all to be able to pay to see their games, but their company’s policy on the best interests of all the fans concerned.
Someone, like the owners of Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea, need to rethink their attitudes to all their fans. Then we may see some changes. Baroness Grey-Thompson for example, stated to the House of Lords that “Chelsea had just ten seats for visiting fans in wheelchairs at their Stamford Bridge ground.” This fan thinks one thing; that it is about time something changed and changed for the better for all the fans concerned.
By Robert Johnson