13 October 2016:
Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the Football Association Premier League fulfils its commitment to make all its clubs comply with the accessible stadia guidance by August 2017.
Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Lab) My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper, and in doing so I declare an interest as vice-president of the charity Level Playing Field.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord Ashton of Hyde) (Con):
My Lords, the Equality and Human Rights Commission is monitoring progress against the pledge made by Premier League member clubs to comply with the accessible stadia guidance, and has asked for regular reports on progress from the Premier League. The EHRC will write to each club to ensure that it does not renege on its commitment. If insufficient progress has been made, the EHRC will consider using its legal powers to ensure that clubs comply with their legal duties.
Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that helpful reply and I welcome his reference to the involvement of the EHRC. On 10 September 2015, partly in response to pressure from this House, the Premier League issued an unequivocal statement which said: “All Premier League Clubs have agreed to make their stadiums compliant with the Accessible Stadia Guide by August 2017”.
This summer, Premier League clubs spent more than £1 billion on transfer payments for players and the league as a whole sold its television rights for a record £5.14 billion. That is more than £10 million a match. Can the Minister think of any possible reason why the clubs should miss the deadline they imposed on themselves, as clearly shortage of money is not a factor?
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