Premier League sponsors urged to pull out over disabled facilities

Disabled supporters at Hull's KC Stadium
Peers have been told about Premier League clubs failing to provide enough facilities for disabled fans

Premier League sponsors and broadcasters have been told to pull out of football unless progress is made in providing facilities for disabled fans.

Lord Holmes of Richmond, Britain's most successful Paralympic swimmer, made the call during the second reading of The Accessible Sports Grounds Bill.

He told the House of Lords: "What we see is nothing short of shambolic."

The move comes after a BBC Sport investigation found top-flight clubs discriminated against disabled fans.

Only current three top-flight stadiums, Swansea, Bournemouth and Leicester, provided the required number of wheelchair spaces, while the BBC survey in March 2014 revealed eight failed to offer even half of what they should under national guidelines.

Lord Holmes added: "Today, I'm going to write to the sponsors of the Premier League and the broadcast partners to suggest to them that if there isn't considerable progress - so far I think we can describe it as glacial progress - in this area they should consider their relationship with football and how that fits with their ethical state in the market."

Archive: Disabled fans 'discriminated against'

He highlighted abuse against disabled fans at Liverpool and an 80-year-old man at Manchester United who had his walking stick taken off him by stewards.

A Chelsea fan was told to wait until 2022 for the club's new stadium to offer more seats, the Conservative peer added.

The Accessible Sports Grounds Bill, moved by Labour's Lord Faulkner of Worcester, would give local authorities the power to refuse to issue a safety certificate to a sports ground which does not comply with accessible stadia guidelines.

Elliot Dunster, head of policy, research and public affairs at disability charity Scope, said: "Many disabled football fans are being let down by Premier League clubs.

"Football is our national game. Clubs need to do so much more to provide a level playing field so disabled fans can be part of it."

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