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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Minister: Too many Premier League clubs are failing disabled fans

The requirements for disabled access to Premier League grounds are set out in the Accessible Stadia Guide.

Several Premier League clubs are still "failing" disabled supporters, a government minister has said.

Penny Mordaunt, the minister for disabled people, work and health, called on clubs to ensure that disabled fans were given equal priority.

The Telegraph reported that clubs were running out of time to meet a collective pledge -- made in 2015 -- to improve facilities by September this year.

And some could face legal action from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) if they fail to address the situation.

"Premier League clubs have a duty to set an example to sports clubs all over the country, but far too many are still failing disabled people," Mordaunt said.

"Owners, managers and players come and go -- it is the fans that remain constant, and disabled supporters must be given equal priority."

The requirements for disabled access to Premier League grounds are set out in the Accessible Stadia Guide, a document that was first put together almost two decades ago.

But an EHRC study, published earlier this year, concluded that a majority of clubs were still not providing the minimum recommended spaces for wheelchair users, with only seven offering large "changing place" toilets.

The 2010 Equality Act requires venues to make "reasonable adjustments," with a failure to do so amounting to unlawful discrimination.

The cost of the changes needed across the league is estimated at £7.2 million, and Tony Taylor, the chairman of campaign group Level Playing Field, said: "The Premier League clubs, with all their significant wealth, should be at the forefront of change.

"We urge the clubs to do the right thing and deliver on their own pledge made in 2015. Disabled fans have waited long enough.

"We would, of course, like to congratulate those clubs that will be meeting the minimum access standards by the deadline."

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