Premier League clubs criticised in disability access report
Premier League clubs could face heavy fines and even the prospect of points deductions if they fail to meet an August deadline to become compliant with disability access requirements reports ITV News.
A report by the Culture, Media and Sport select committee (CMS) says four Premier League clubs are likely to miss the deadline.
They also criticise a fifth club, West Ham, for allegedly reducing the provision for disabled supporters since taking over the Olympic Stadium.
In a damning report, they said some clubs are "prioritising finance over improving access" and cited the east London club for allegedly restricting access for disabled supporters in favour of more hospitality boxes.
In a statement, West Ham said the report is based on out-of-date information.
The CMS select committee chairman Damian Collins said: "When we see examples of good practice at some clubs that are already providing disabled supporters with a good experience when they attend matches, it is especially disappointing that some of the rich clubs are not doing more.
"Sports fans with disabilities are not asking for a large number of expensive changes - only to have their needs taken into account in the way sports stadia are designed and operated.
"It is high time that sports clubs, especially for example those with plenty of resources as in football's Premier League, changed their mindset."
However the committee also expressed concern for the desire of the league to impose sanctions themselves.
Mr Collins added: "Given 20 years of comparative inactivity by the football leagues, we are not convinced that the Premier League would impose suitable penalties on clubs, even for failing to meet building regulations."
The committee said they will support the Equality and Human Rights Commission in taking legal action against individual clubs and their governing body over "systematic" non-compliance.
The report also quoted Premier League executive director Bill Bush in stating that if league member clubs fail to comply with the Accessible Stadia Guide by 2017, a wide-range of sanctions - including heavy fines and points deductions - could be applied.