Barrister Catherine Casserley says clubs that do not adapt to the needs of their disabled fans could be breaking the law.
“One of the things that courts will do to establish what adjustments it is reasonable to make is to look at what other guidance is around,” said Casserley.
“If that says that clubs should have a certain number of wheelchair spaces and they don’t have that – and they don’t really have any rationale for not having that – then the court might well decide that they breach the Equality Act.”
Access to tickets is another issue facing disabled fans.
Several clubs in the league have different ticket policies for disabled supporters, with restrictions that do not apply to non-disabled fans.
Casserley, an expert in discrimination law, says the majority of the football-related cases she has worked on involve ticket policies, but that fans are often reluctant to take action.
“I think football clubs are in a privileged position in that they probably rely on the loyalty of their supporters in not bringing claims,” she said.
“I have to say that the people that I’ve seen really have come to me at the end of their tether because they really don’t want to bring claims against their clubs but they want the same experience as non-disabled fans. Why shouldn’t they have that?”
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