Great strides are being made towards improving facilities for disabled fans at the home of Watford Football Club, despite admitting it will miss next season’s seating quota set by the Premier League.
By the time the new season kicks off in August, every club in England’s top flight must have a certain number of wheelchair and easy access seats.
Watford has been told to have at least 153 seats for fans requiring wheelchairs and another 153 seats considered easy access – a target the club will not reach.
The club currently has 61 wheelchair spots and 124 easy access seats, although plans are in place to introduce a further 31 wheelchair spaces and 49 additional easy access seats atVicarage Road during the close season.
Dave Messenger, the club’s disability access officer, said improvements were being made in line with plans to expand capacity but argued that the process should not be rushed.
“When we came to the Premier League, we made this commitment to reach the accessibility stadia guidelines. We went public on our plans and when we are going to meet them,” he said.
“For us it is about making gradual adjustments, so the work doesn’t stop in August 2017. We’re comfortable with where we are – at the moment we have got plenty of spaces.”