Basket
×

Your basket

Join The FSA

© Level Playing Field / Brighton & Hove Albion WFC

What are the 10 biggest barriers facing disabled fans?

Women’s football could improve the accessibility of the game for more than a quarter of disabled fans, simply by increasing the information available, says Level Playing Field. More than 1750 disabled fans of women’s football and other sports responded to their survey.

Results from the Level Playing Field survey on disabled supporters of women’s football, showed a ‘lack of information’ was a barrier for attending matches to a significantly higher proportion of fans (26%), than in last year’s annual fan survey across all sports (16%).

The ‘cost of attending’ and ‘difficulty purchasing tickets’ were both shown to be lesser barriers for disabled fans attending women’s football.

Communication is a key area highlighted for improvement, with 38% of respondents rating their club’s ‘communication and marketing when it comes to attracting disabled fans into watching women’s football’ as ‘poor’, ‘very poor’, or ‘non-existent’.

46% of fans listed ‘accessibility information’ as something which would help when planning for and travelling to women’s matches, with only accessible parking ranking higher.

‘Physical access at stadiums’ is the highest ranked barrier at 29% while ‘anxiety or lack of confidence’ (28%) and ‘attitudes of others’ (24%) also received high responses, which Level Playing Field says is in line with data from other sports.

The 10 biggest disability-related barriers fans face when attending live sport:

  1. Physical access at stadiums
  2. Anxiety or lack of confidence
  3. Lack of information
  4. Attitudes of others
  5. Unable to travel to stadium
  6. Difficulty purchasing tickets
  7. “I don’t think stadiums are inclusive for disabled people”
  8. Cost of attending
  9. Stadium policies and rules
  10. Lack of support from club staff

“Provisions must be improved”

Chair of Level Playing Field, Tony Taylor, said: “This important research will be highly valuable as we look to drive accessibility and inclusion in the women’s game, alongside its ongoing increases in attendances and revenue.

“The first-of-its-kind survey has developed our understanding of the unique landscape within women’s football meaning we are better placed to support fans, clubs, disabled supporters’ associations and governing bodies.

“Whilst many of the key areas of concern are comparable with wider sport, the need to improve accessibility information is a key outlier.

“This is something which we will proactively look to work on with governing bodies and clubs. I hope all parties see this as an opportunity to make immediate, simple and impactful improvements in the way they engage with disabled fans now and in the future.

“We hope to see the growth in the women’s game continue over the coming years and with that growth, provisions for disabled supporters must also be improved.”

Report

The full report on the results from Level Playing Field’s survey on disabled supporters of women’s football, is available here.

The 2023 Level Playing Field Annual Fan Survey received more than 1750 responses and was open to disabled fans of women’s football and all other sports. The results will be released later this year.

Related Articles

Poor access still putting off many disabled fans – survey shows

Around a third of disabled supporters say they have been put off going to the match according to a new national survey of disabled fans.

Fans for Diversity: Supporting fans across the country in Spring ’22

The Fans for Diversity campaign, a partnership between the FSA and Kick It Out, continues to assist supporters around the country, and we spoke to campaign lead Anwar Uddin about recent work to promote diversity via three new projects in London…

“Fans can make a difference”: Manchester City fans want 3pm kick-off in Community Shield

Last month the FA announced that the Community Shield would be taking place on a Sunday at 5.30pm, a difficult time for Manchester City fans hoping to get down to the game and back in time for work the next day. After a backlash that was revised to 4pm but Manchester City fans are calling for it to be moved to 3pm.

Exeter City repay loan to fans that saved club

Exeter City, the fan-owned club who were saved by their supporters when the club was in crisis in 2003, have repaid the long-term interest free loan provided by the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust (ECST).

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball