DAG Meeting 14th March 2018

DAG Meeting 14th March 2018 - pldag

Premier League Disability Advisory Group

Meeting held at The Ability suite, Manchester United Old Trafford stadium 14th March 2018

Summary of Main Topics, Comments and Actions Points

Attendees :-

Bill Bush Executive Director Premier League

Katherine Allen Policy and Supporter Relations Premier League

Chas Banks DSA Chairman Manchester United

David Butler DSA Chairman Watford

Kevin Candon DSA Chairman West Bromwich Albion

Mark Barber DSA Secretary Manchester City

Peter Carr DSA Chairman Tottenham

David Higham DSA Chairman Liverpool

Tom Hutchinson Vice Chair Liverpool

Andy Mather DSA Chairman Southampton

Alex Mather Assistant to Chairman Southampton

David Smith DSA Chairman Crystal Palace

Dave Heatherill DSA Chairman Huddersfield

Kevin Ryan Club Secretary Huddersfield

Sandra Fixter DSA Chair Leicester

Phill Davies DSA Committee Member Swansea

Anthony Joy DSA Chairman Arsenal

Mark Townley Assistant to Chairman Burnley

1. DAG Formation document – The formal Premier League documentation forming our group has been circulated.

Request to the PL to circulate this document to the Clubs (DLOs and DAOs) so that they recognise the Group and understand our purpose. Action: Premier League

2. Disabled Ticketing

Policies – These apparently vary significantly between clubs.

Consider investigating different practices then review for best practice.. Action: To be allocated

3. Away ticketing communication

Andy Mather (using Saints as an example) is that if Saints are due to play away to Team A, the Saints ticket office get a note from the ticket office of Team A, detailing the number of wheelchair, ambulant, and VI spaces, and where they are in the stadium.

However, ambulant supporters often need more information e.g. location/position of hand rails, number of steps, etc, which the Saints ticket office rarely know. They do contact Team A to try to get answers, but it may mean that the ambulant disabled supporter is left standing while they do so which may be uncomfortable for them. Requirement identified for more detailed information to assist correct allocation dependent upon mobility or other limitations.

Action: David Butler to contact WFC ticket office to obtain examples of input.

Action: Input from others with details / examples of the system used by their club

4. Family and Friends seat grouping – This was raised in discussion as to the desirability of friends and family being able to sit together. This aspect is covered by the Accessible Stadia - Supplementary Guidance document dated August 2015 under the heading “1. Amenity and easy access seating” as follows :-

Disabled people should be provided with a choice of accessible viewing areas. In addition, it is important that family members and friends are able to sit alongside disabled spectators who require amenity or easy access seating and the ticket office staff should be able to provide information about all amenity and easy access seating within the stadium.”

This is also a requirement generally under The Equality Act 2010 in terms of not treating disabled folks different from all others! If they do it is discriminatory.

5. Ambulant seat qualification query - distribution by David Butler of the specification agreed with EHRC for a qualifying ambulant seat. Actioned David Butler

6. Assessment of Away facilities

David Butler to draft a comprehensive Questionnaire requesting detailed information to assess the adequacy of the Away facilities and circulate it for review to agree a standard format that can then consolidated for each club assessed.

Objective - Identify both best practice and inadequacies.

Action – David Butler to send out a draft

Response from all when Questionnaire agreed

7. Statistics re utilisation of disabled facilities – Excel sheet distributed– Watford FC

Actioned – David Butler

8. New Data Protection requirements – Documents distributed relating to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). -

Actioned by Mark Barber – Manchester city

9. Stewarding – It was accepted that clubs had to employ casual staff as Stewards and that the consequent turnover precluded specialised training. It was important therefore that the permanent staff are adequately trained. It was considered that continuity of steward contact with disabled supporters is a key to satisfactory safeguards. This contact improves the safety aspects with the stewards having knowledge of the range of disabilities – deafness, visual impairment, degree of ambulant mobility etc - crucial in critical incidents such as a stadium evacuation.

10. Accessible Stadium Guidelines

Recommendation that the ASGs be updated with clearer overall specifications, particularly for ambulant supporters and for an emphasis on “hidden disabilities”.

Topics for a future meeting -

External restrictions and limitations affecting accessibility to the stadiums

Our disabled away supporters sometimes get dropped off a long way from the stadium, and this may mean a walk of over a mile. Ambulant supporters will often take a wheelchair for that walk, but then the away club has to find somewhere to store a number of wheelchairs during the game. This is probably due to the local police and a vehicle no-go area near the stadium, but could David add this topic to the next agenda Andy Mather – Southampton DSA Chair

Inclusion – implications - The Social Model”

Lastly may I thank Chas for organising the venue and thank Manchester United for hosting our meeting .


David J Butler