Manchester United open doors to more disabled fans – but Old Trafford capacity will be cut
Manchester United are moving 2,600 fans in order to create 300 new positions for disabled supporters at Old Trafford.
Following consultation with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Manchester United Disabled Supporters’ Association (MUDSA), the club on Tuesday announced changes in line with the Accessible Stadia guide.
The structural alterations will be completed in August 2017 and affect 2,600 season ticket holders, with the relocation of those affected phased over three years.
United have devised a goodwill package for those supporters being moved, while the changes will eventually see the overall capacity of Old Trafford reduced to around 73,300.
United’s group managing director Richard Arnold said: “Old Trafford is a home for all United fans and these changes will help many more of our loyal disabled supporters to attend games to watch their heroes.
“Manchester United prides itself on its work in this area for more than 25 years, and will continue to ensure that it remains at the forefront of our thinking.”
Arnold added: “We know that many of the affected season ticket holders have held their seats for decades and it will be a sacrifice to give them up.
“But we also know that the vast majority will understand and support this expansion.”
The new positions for disabled supporters will see the current East Stand accessible platform extended across and into the Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton Stands.
As the changes are being phased in, the design will incorporate reversible platforms to be used for Premier League and some cup matches.
Chas Banks, secretary of the MUDSA, said: “I’m filled with pride that the club I’ve supported since first coming to Old Trafford as a little boy in 1957 is leading the way in increasing accessible seating to meet the standards set out in the Accessible Stadia guide.
“It’s a dream come true for me and many other disabled United fans.”
The developments to Old Trafford have been welcomed by Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work.
“Bravo Man Utd for new plans to make Old Trafford accessible to 300 more disabled fans- sport is for everyone,” she posted on Twitter.
Courtesy of The Independent