Tuesday, 26 August 2014

No disabled fans…

The poor treatment of disabled football supporters is nothing new (http://theadventuresofwheelchairboy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/level-playing-field.html) and while the BBC done well to shine a spotlight on the matter, I feel a fan needs to reiterate the point so that actual changes can happen. That’s why I have decided to keep a diary of all my experiences at various grounds during the 2014/15 season. I’ll keep all my evidence and then send one massive letter in May listing the concerns to all the relevant heads to do with the National Game. Hopefully, they will ashamed of the blatant discrimination and act.

My first away day was up in Liverpool on Saturday and already I have a couple of issues to raise. Just like last year, the game was televised on Sky Sports and once again, the pitch side cameraman got in my way. Everton have tried to resolve the problem by taking out the advertising hoardings but it doesn’t really help. He did step back out of the way when there was little action but rushed out everytime a team attacked the goal nearest me. I ended up missing three out of the four goals. I knew what happened due to the reactions but it was far from ideal.

I just don’t get why it clearly doesn’t matter if disabled fans get blocked off. People would argue able-bodied supporters have cameramen in their way but luckily they can stand and move to the left or right. I can’t. The stewards go crazy if I move an inch. Also, why have mixed disabled fans? You wouldn’t put an able-bodied Everton supporter in the Arsenal section so why is it acceptable for a wheelchair user. It antagonises us when they score but must have been awful when we did. Mind you, it’s not as bad as the segregation at Villa Park or Anfield.

Anyway, I took some photos and will be adding them to my collection. I hope to add to my dossier in the coming weeks and months if I get some away tickets. The next one is Leicester City but there are only a measly six wheelchair spaces so I was unsuccessful with my application. I find that a disgraceful ratio as they think there is only six disabled fans to every 3000 normal supporters. I’m in no way saying it should be 50:50 or even 90:10. I just feel there should be at least 20. Wheelchair aside, we want to follow our team too.

Bye for now!

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