Venue: Aston Villa’s Villa Park Stadium
Anthony Richards Aston Villa Disability Access Officer
Millie Crowhurst Brighton Disability Liaison Officer
Owain Davies CEO Level Playing Field
Peter Kay Premier League Consultant
Stewart Bladen West Midlands Police - Football Unit
David Butler Chair DAG Chair Watford
Ted Morris Chair DAG Vice Chair Liverpool
Chas Banks MUDSA Secretary Manchester United
Jo McNicol Chair Tottenham
Trevor Bright Co - Chair West Ham
Paul Lucas Secretary Southampton
Kevin Holden Chair Burnley
Joanne McKibbens Chair Aston Villa
DAG Zoom invitees / attendees
Anne Hyde Chair DAG General Secretary
John Kenny Chair Manchester City
Andy Mather Chair Southampton
David Smith Chair Crystal Palace
Darren Cash Chair Wolves
Stephen Miller Secretary Newcastle
Kevin James Chair Norwich
Amy Wilson Chair Everton
Stuart Ram Chair Leeds
Sandra Fixter Chair Leicester
The Summary of Main Topics, Comments and Actions Points
David Butler - Chair’s Report - Please find this at the end of this document.
Special Guest - Stewart Bladen
Dedicated Football Officer and Public Order/Public Safety Advisor (POPSA) | Force Football Unit
Stewart explained the activity he is involved with to ensure visiting supporters receive better protection when sitting in the wheelchair platform in the home end at Aston Villa.
He is training special constables in better fan engagement with the Villa supporters with the specific aim of reducing or indeed eliminating abuse towards visiting disabled supporters. This is a significant step forward in supporting disabled supporters and the meeting thanked him for his contribution..
Often, visiting wheelchair users and their PA's are left without support or protection when in the home end, which the meeting found deeply troubling.
Minutes of meeting on 14th November 2019
These minutes were published on our website. There were no items arising and the meeting voted to approve them as being an accurate record of proceedings.
Confirmation of Election of Officers
At the meeting in November 2019 we approved our constitution which required the three Officers to be elected at an AGM for a three year period of tenure. As you are all aware due to the pandemic we were not able to hold a face to face AGM and held an email vote in March 2020 which resulted in the following being elected :-
David J Butler - Chair
Anne Hyde – Group secretary
Steve Daniels - Vice Chair
Regrettably Steve resigned having also resigned from Chair of Wolves DSA
An electronic vote was held in August 2021 to elect a replacement for the period ending March 2023.
Ted Morris – was elected Vice Chair
Given the unprecedented situation David asked the meeting to confirm they were happy with the election process.
Accessible Stadia Guidelines (ASG) revision update -
Level Playing Field - Owain Davies presentation
Level Playing Field CEO, Owain Davies, gave a presentation relating to the Accessible Stadia Guidelines revision process and timetable and indicated that DAG would be involved after the draft stage and David agreed to encourage all DSA's to fully support level Playing Field with their review of the ASG and to provide constructive comment and input.
Action: David to follow up with Owain who has provided some additional points below plus the slides from his presentation which can be viewed by clicking HERE
Neurodiverse Sports Fans – Safety, accessibility and experiences when attending live events (research) Click Here
Club information update – We discussed that LPF is currently asking clubs for updated stadia info. If you have any information from the DAG that you could share, please do pass it on to me.
Proof of Disability LPF Guide – This is having a final edit, and I should be able to share it next week.
Premier League Stadium ASG continued non compliance / Analysis
David produced a detailed form and requested that all DSA's review their clubs ASG compliance and feedback to him on the current status. All DSA's were asked to complete this form and return it to him no later than end of November 2021. He advised all meeting attendees that they may require assistance from their clubs DLO's to collect all of the information. Owain suggested that some of the information could be obtained from the LPF website.
It was explained that the SGSA has offered an early adopter Licence to enable Licenced areas in stadiums for safe standing. David requested that all DSA's liaise with their club to see if they have taken up a license. If so, it was suggested that the DSA becomes involved particularly with reference to the Code of Conduct and the preservation of sight lines for our disabled members.
Disability Liaison Officers
Premier League rules :- Concern was expressed about the employment of a full time Disability Liaison Officer. Many DLO's are now being given additional functions thereby diluting their disabled fans duties.
David will seek clarification from the Premier League on rules relating to DLO employment.
Action: David to follow up
Rule 9 of Section R interpretation
Rule 9 requires that 10% of the accessible places in the stadium be allocated to visiting disabled supporters.
In many cases away disabled fans are not treated proportionately according to your input. To verify the allocation you have to be aware of the total number of accessible spaces in the stadium or you cannot calculate the 10%. David stated he believed that the away end 10% allocation in total should be treated in relation to Table 4 in a proportionate manner in respect of wheelchair and ambulant spaces, 75% elevated, number of accessible toilets and the 40m rule applied.
David will seek clarification from the Premier League on how the calculation is arrived at concerning the amount of wheelchair/ambulant spaces that are available to away supporters.
Action: David to follow up
Impact of digital ticketing
The main impact appears to be with digital tickets for carers who may change regularly. Many clubs have reverted back to plastic season ticket cards which can be passed around to facilitate this problem.