Every premier league team ranked by accessibility
26th September 2023
Data last updated: 26/09/2023
The Premier League is the most-watched league in the world, drawing in the highest global television audience of any football league. But how accessible is it for disabled supporters to watch their team in person? This study looks at all the current Premier League teams, investigating how accessible their stadiums are for disabled supporters and visitors who may need to use aids such as a stair lift or walking aid.
Thousands of disabled supporters head to watch their favourite teams play every year, and whilst all the stadiums are very accessible, some go further than others. Comparing the accessibility features of each stadium, along with Tripadvisor ratings, has produced some fascinating findings; keep reading to find out if your favourite team ranks at the top or the bottom of the table.
- Bournemouth has the most accessible Premier League stadium.
- Only one club (Bournemouth) has more than 1% of wheelchair seats per the capacity of their stadium.
- Bournemouth has more wheelchair seats than any other club despite having the second-smallest stadium.
- Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Chelsea’s stadiums round off the top four most accessible stadiums in the Premier League.
- 13/20 clubs have less than 0.5% of wheelchair seats per stadium capacity.
- All 20 clubs offer accessible entrances, toilets, ticket counters, and wheelchair viewing areas.
- 14/20 clubs offer sensory suits for fans to utilise.
What are the most accessible Premier League stadiums?
**Although Fulham does not provide accessible parking at their stadium, there are accessible parking spaces located on the grounds of the nearby Fulham College Boys School, and there is a wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus that links the car park with the stadium.
***Luton Town Disabled Supporters’ Association manages spaces in Avondale Road, which is close to the ground.
Bigger stadiums don’t always mean good accessibility
The findings from the table above shine a real light on the top Premier League teams and what they offer to their supporters with physical disabilities.
Some of the most popular teams with the biggest and most expensive stadiums don’t rank as high on the table as some of the smaller teams who have smaller stadiums.
Bournemouth topped the table, even with the second smallest stadium (a capacity of 11,307) in the league, finishing above some of the biggest teams, including Manchester City (55,017), Manchester United (74,140), Chelsea (40,341), Arsenal (60,704), and Liverpool (53,394).
To create this ranking, the study looked at a number of disability facilities and whether they were present at each Premier League stadium, and these included:
- Accessible entrances
- Accessible lifts
- Accessible toilets
- Accessible ticket counters
- Wheelchair-accessible viewing areas
- Assistive hearing systems
- Audio descriptive commentary
- Assistive animals welcome
- Sensory suites
- Accessible parking
- Carer tickets
- Number of wheelchair spaces in stadiums
- Percentage of disabled seats/spaces per capacity
Each team was given a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ mark under the accessibility ranking factors; a percentage of wheelchair-accessible seats/spaces for each stadium was worked out by dividing the number of wheelchair seats by the capacity of the stadium and the study also looked at the Tripadvisor rating for each stadium. Points were given for each ranking factor, and this allowed the teams to be scored from 1st to 20th.
Sources: The accessibility pages for Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Utd, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tripadvisor, Level Playing Field, Access Able.
*Please note: Every Premier League team was contacted by email and asked to provide the answers to these accessibility factors; if there was no response, the data was either taken from the team website or a third-party source.
What are the top 10 most accessible Premier League stadiums?
- Brighton & Hove Albion/Chelsea*
- Manchester City
- Newcastle United/West Ham United*
- Wolverhampton Wanderers/Tottenham Hotspur*
- Aston Villa
*Teams tied for position
The ‘big six’ fails to dominate the accessibility rankings
The so-called ‘big six’ Premier League teams (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham) do not dominate the standings. Both Bournemouth and Brighton make it into the top three, beating the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, and Manchester Utd, proving they can offer the same high-quality facilities as some of their larger counterparts.
Bournemouth and Brighton ranked ‘yes’ for all of our accessibility factors. Bournemouth, Brentford, Burnley, and Brighton also had a larger percentage of wheelchair seats in their stadium than the other teams in the league.
What are the 10 least accessible Premier League stadiums?
- Wolverhampton Wanderers/Tottenham Hotspur*
- Aston Villa
- Sheffield Utd
- Manchester United
- Crystal Palace
- Nottingham Forest
*Teams tied for position
Although these teams have been ranked as the least accessible in the Premier League, they are still very accessible for fans with mobility problems. Luton has been ranked as the least accessible stadium in the league as it does not offer a sensory suite or on-site accessible parking, and its percentage of wheelchair seats per capacity is only 0.2%.
One huge surprise from the rankings is one of the most popular teams in the league, Manchester United, ranking in the bottom six. Manchester United has the biggest stadium on the list, with 74,140 seats, but only 0.3% are wheelchair friendly.
Many of these bottom-ranked teams didn’t rank ‘yes’ for all of the disability factors or fell down when it came to the number of wheelchair-accessible seats compared to the capacity of their stadium. A full breakdown of the clubs’ data can be found below.
The accessibility of Premier League clubs
Bournemouth, promoted in 2022, came out as champions of the Premier League Accessibility table. They ranked ‘yes’ for all of the accessibility factors (accessible entrances, accessible lifts, accessible toilets, accessible ticket counters, wheelchair-accessible viewing areas, assistive hearing systems, audio descriptive commentary, assistive animals welcome, sensory suites, accessible parking, carer tickets).
Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium also has the highest number of wheelchair seats (290) and the highest percentage of wheelchair seats per capacity of 2.5%, which was also the most of any team in the league.
Hannah Powis, who is the Head of EDI and Engagement at Bournemouth, spoke about the importance of making stadiums accessible to all:
“Accessibility within stadiums is pivotal to ensuring that all supporters can enjoy football without barriers.
“AFC Bournemouth prides itself on our approach to inclusion; we strive to make our environment and activities such that all individuals and groups feel welcomed, comfortable and safe. We work closely with supporters and our Disabled Supporters Association to ensure that we are constantly progressing and creating a welcoming and inclusive matchday experience.”
2021/22 position: N/A
Liverpool FC is one of the most well-supported clubs in the Premier League and is also one of the most historic and successful teams in the country. In terms of stadium accessibility, Liverpool ranks second in the table.
Anfield ranked ‘yes’ for all accessibility factors, scored 4.5/5 on Tripadvisor and has 0.4% of wheelchair-friendly seats out of a total of 53,394.
A Liverpool spokesperson explains a bit more about the services they offer fans who have limited mobility or another form of disability: “We have a dedicated disability line for disabled supporters for any questions or assistance that they may need, which is 0151 264 2500.
“We also have a dedicated low disabled supporter window at the ticket office for any enquiries, which is manned the same hours as the main ticket office.”
2021/22 position: 6th
Brighton & Hove Albion
Champions of the previous edition of the Premier League Accessibility Table, Brighton & Hove Albion and its Amex Stadium, which opened back in 2011, ranked third this season. They scored ‘yes’ for all of the disability factors, including accessible entrances, accessible lifts, accessible toilets, and wheelchair-accessible viewing areas. The Amex Stadium has more than 220 wheelchair seats in the stadium, which is one of the highest percentages of wheelchair seats for its capacity in the league. It also has a 4.5/5 ranking on Tripadvisor.
Brighton spoke about the services they offer to fans with limited mobility and how important it is that their stadium is accessible.
“No one should be excluded from being able to come to the football. Therefore, I think it’s important for us to remove any barriers that might stop a person from being able to attend a match at our stadium.
“We pride ourselves on being accessible and offering services that other stadiums don’t always have so we can make sure everyone is included in the club and able to attend a Brighton match!”
2021/22 position: 1st
Chelsea, over the last couple of decades, has become one of the most successful teams in the Premier League. Stamford Bridge has been the home of Chelsea Football Club since its formation and has been opened as a sporting arena since 28 April 1877 – used exclusively for the traditionally popular Victorian pursuit of athletics meetings by the London Athletic Club for its first 27 years.
Now, it is a venue where football fans descend, and as a result of multiple upgrades, the stadium ranked joint third in the accessibility table. It offers all of the accessibility facilities the study looked at, has a 4.5/5 Tripadvisor rating, 223 wheelchair seats, and 0.5% of the seats at Stamford Bridge can be used by wheelchair users, which is the fifth highest in the league.
2021/22 position: 12th
Manchester City has become one of the most successful teams in recent years, with the team winning the Premier League title five times out of the past six seasons, and their stadium has performed well in terms of its accessibility. The Etihad Stadium ranked ‘yes’ on all the ranking factors, and 0.4% of seats at their stadium are wheelchair-accessible, which, whilst being a smaller percentage than the teams ranked above it, is still over 250 seats.
The stadium offers all the accessibility facilities at its stadium, is easily accessible for all wheelchair users and fans with limited mobility and is, therefore, a great stadium for all to visit.
2021/22 position: 5th
Brentford haven’t just had rave reviews for their performances on the pitch; their stadium has also received praise from fans across the country. The team plays at the Gtech Community Stadium, which only opened in 2020 and is located next to Kew Bridge Station, less than a mile away from their old Griffin Park stadium.
As you’d expect, being so new, the stadium is extremely accessible for fans in wheelchairs and those with limited mobility. It scores ‘yes’ for all of the accessibility facilities that the study looked at, and it scores 4.5/5 on Tripadvisor. It ranks fifth in the accessibility table, and 0.8% of seats/spaces at the stadium are wheelchair friendly.
Chris Wickham, Communications Director at Brentford, said: “At Brentford, we believe sport and football is for all, and so stadiums need to make sure they cater for all supporters whatever their accessibility needs are. This is even more important coming through a global pandemic when many disabled supporters have been isolated from friends and family. Sport plays an important part in reconnecting them, providing a distraction from everyday worries and problems.
“At Brentford FC, one of our core values is togetherness; with the new stadium, we have a fantastic facility that brings all our supporters together and offers a great experience whatever access needs are required.”
2021/22 position: 15th
Arsenal and their Emirates Stadium came in sixth position in the accessible Premier League stadiums table. The Emirates is a relatively new stadium as it opened on 22 July 2006, and it has one of the largest capacities in the Premier League at 60,704.
The stadium is extremely accessible to wheelchair users and those with limited mobility, as it scored ‘yes’ for all the accessibility factors and has a score of 4.5/5 on Tripadvisor. The 258 wheelchair spaces/seats for fans make up 0.4% of the Emirates Stadium’s capacity.
Arsenal also has a disabled supporters lounge, and the club's Disability Liaison team speak about it in their access statement: “The Disabled Supporters Lounge is open for home and away disabled supporters (and their PAs) before every home game at Emirates Stadium, (excluding the Emirates Cup weekend and International Friendlies).
“The Lounge is equipped with a large screen TV, and there is also free tea and coffee available (although we do ask disabled supporters to consider making a small donation to The Arsenal Foundation for the refreshments). A wheelchair-accessible toilet facility is also available.”
2021/22 position: 9th
Newcastle United is aiming to win the Premier League in the next few seasons, and their stadium, St James’ Park, is not only one of the most iconic stadiums in the league, but it is also one of the most accessible as it sits in a credible 7th place out of the 20 teams in the accessibility table. Their percentage of wheelchair-friendly seats is 0.4%, with over 230 seats accessible to wheelchair users.
Newcastle United’s stadium boasts all the accessibility features in its 52,305-capacity stadium and scores a great 4.5/5 on Tripadvisor.
2021/22 position: 7th
West Ham United
West Ham United finished in joint 7th place out of the 20 teams that were ranked in the accessibility table. The club finished 16th in the last Premier League stadium accessibility table, but its stadium now boasts a sensory suite, and it offers all of the accessibility features the study looked at.
The clubs' percentage of disabled seats per capacity was a respectable 0.4% out of their 60,000-seated stadium. The club scored a rating of 4/5 on Tripadvisor - lower than some of its rival clubs.
2021/22 position: 16th
Wolverhampton Wanderers or ‘Wolves’ are known for their bright gold shirts and iconic badge. Some may not consider them as one of the most accessible teams due to their older stadium, but they landed themselves in 8th place, comfortably sitting in the top half of the table.
Wolves passed all the accessibility factors and scored highly on Tripadvisor, whilst their Molineux Stadium has a percentage of 0.4% of wheelchair seats per capacity, which was in the top half of the league for this particular ranking factor.
Speaking to the accessibility and disability team at Wolves, they first explained why they think making sure stadiums are accessible is of high importance:
“We want our supporters, no matter what their access needs, to be able to attend a game and have access to our facilities like any other supporter.”
They continued, explaining why Wolves pride themselves on what their stadium offers all of its fans: “We offer not only the above to fans, but we have audio programmes, a hidden disability wristband scheme, audio documents, individual social stories of visiting Wolves and away grounds and a dedicated disability access officer who links directly to fans, advising them on seating environments on both home and away grounds.”
2021/22 position: 11th
Also known as Spurs to their fans, Tottenham Hotspur ranked joint 8th in the table, which might seem quite low considering they have recently had an impressive brand-new stadium built with a huge capacity of 62,303.
Tottenham scored ‘yes’ on all the accessibility factors that were ranked and 4.5/5 on Tripadvisor, so although the team only landed in 8th, the stadium is still extremely accessible for those wishing to visit on a match day. Where the stadium slightly fell down was the fact only 0.4% of their seats are wheelchair-friendly seats.
2021/22 position: 8th
Aston Villa, also known as the ‘Villans’, play their home matches at historic Villa Park in the Witton area of Birmingham. The stadium is one of the oldest and most famous in Europe, and it has been the club’s home since 1897, having evolved over the years into a magnificent all-seated arena with a capacity of more than 42,000.
Villa Park scores ‘yes’ for all the accessibility facilities the study looked at, but with 105 wheelchair spaces/seats (only 0.2% of their full capacity), it doesn’t offer as much seating as some of the other Premier League stadiums. Villa Park has received a 4.5 rating on Tripadvisor.
2021/22 position: 14th
Goodison Park, the home of Everton Football Club, is an iconic venue as it was the first major football stadium built in England and was opened on 24 August 1892. Despite being one of the oldest stadiums in the league, it is very accessible and finishes in the top 10 of the Premier League accessibility table.
Although 0.5% of seats at the 39,414-seater stadium are available to wheelchair users and those with limited mobility, which is one of the highest in the league, and it offers virtually all of the accessibility features the study looked at, the fact the stadium doesn’t have a sensory suite is why it hasn’t been ranked even higher. The stadium also has a Tripadvisor rating of 4.5/5.
2021/22 position: 4th
Sheffield United returned to the Premier League after being relegated back in 2021 following their promotion from the Championship last season, but how accessible is their stadium?
Brammall Lane is well-known for creating an impressive atmosphere, and it is an accessible stadium for supporters with limited mobility and wheelchair users. The 32,050-capacity stadium offers all of the accessibility features the study looked at, including a sensory suite and accessible parking.
The only reason Brammall Lane was not ranked higher than its 11th position is that only 0.2% of its seats are accessible to wheelchair users, which is the lowest in the league. It does rank well on Tripadvisor as it is rated 4.5/5.
2021/22 position: N/A
Manchester United are one of the most successful and famous clubs in England, and its iconic stadium is one that is visited by supporters from across the world. Old Trafford may rank in the bottom six in the accessibility study, but it is still very accessible.
Old Trafford has the biggest stadium capacity in the league, with 74,140 seats available to spectators, but only 0.3% of those are adapted for wheelchair users, which is why it isn’t ranked as highly as some other stadiums.
The stadium doesn’t have sensory rooms, but there are quiet areas within the stadium. Old Trafford does offer all of the other accessibility facilities the study looked at, including accessible parking, audio descriptive commentary, and wheelchair-accessible viewing areas. The stadium is also rated as 4.5/5 on Tripadvisor.
2021/22 position: 19th
Selhurst Park has been the home of Crystal Palace since 1924, and it is renowned for boasting one of the best atmospheres in the Premier League. In fact, as quoted on their website about visiting their stadium, football commentator Ian Dennis, from BBC Radio 5 Live, said: “I do not think there is a better atmosphere in the Premier League.”
Selhurst Park scored ‘yes’ in all the accessibility ranking factors apart from offering accessible parking to fans. As explained on the club’s accessibility page, there is no disabled parking at the stadium, but there is parking available at Sainsbury’s, which is located next to the ground. Despite no disabled parking being offered at the stadium, the percentage of disabled seats/spaces per capacity within the ground was one of the highest in the league at 0.5%, and it also received a 4/5 rating on Tripadvisor.
2021/22 position: 13th
Formerly two-time European Cup champions Nottingham Forest were promoted to the Premier League in the 2022/23 season after a 23-year hiatus, and after staying up, they are looking forward to another season in the top flight in England.
Their stadium is the City Ground, and although it doesn’t have sensory rooms for its fans, it does offer all the other accessibility facilities the study looked at. Only 0.2% of the stadium's seats are accessible to wheelchair users, however, which is one of the lowest in the Premier League.
The City Ground is rated 4.5/5 on Tripadvisor, which proves that it is a great stadium to visit for home and away fans.
2021/22 position: N/A
Burnley moved to Turf Moor in 1883 and has been there ever since, although a lot has changed since then, with a lot of redevelopments taking place.
Burnley may have finished in the bottom three in the accessibility table, but it is still an accessible stadium that fans with a disability can feel comfortable visiting. Turf Moor does not offer an assistive hearing system or audio descriptive commentary, and the stadium doesn’t have a sensory suite. However, with a percentage of wheelchair seats/spaces per capacity of 0.6%, it was the third highest in the league for this particular data point. Turf Moor has a rating of 4/5 on Tripadvisor, and it does score ‘yes’ for all the other accessibility facilities that were looked at during the study.
The focus and the work that Burnley has put on making Turf Moor more accessible in recent years was demonstrated when the club was praised by the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, during a recent visit.
Speaking about the visit and the work the club has done, Doug Metcalfe, Head of Operations and Disability Access Officer at Burnley FC, said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to showcase our accessible supporter facilities to the minister.
“The club’s facilities have undoubtedly come a long way in a relatively short space of time, now providing a suitable and appropriate environment for our disabled supporters.
“Delivery of the stadium infrastructure is one aspect, and we will also continue to work closely with our disabled supporter groups and community outreach programmes to ensure that the opportunity to attend a match day is extended to all by improving the accessibility - as well as the experience, enjoyment and perceptions of Turf Moor as an all-inclusive venue.”
2021/22 position: 20th
Fulham’s Craven Cottage may get the crown for the most picturesque Premier League stadium as it is located next to a park on the banks of the River Thames.
Being the oldest football stadium in London, supporters can expect a ground that is steeped in history, and whilst it finished second-bottom in the Premier League accessibility table, it is still an accessible stadium to visit.
There is no assistive hearing system, sensory suites or accessible parking available, although there are a number of parking spaces available for disabled supporters on the grounds of Fulham College Boys School on Kingwood Road, and a wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus links the car park with the stadium.
The stadium offers all of the other facilities for wheelchair users and supporters with a disability, and it has a percentage of wheelchair seats/spaces per capacity of 0.4%. Craven Cottage is the only stadium in the Premier League to achieve a Tripadvisor rating of 5.
2021/22 position: N/A
Luton may have finished in last position on the accessibility table, but the club is currently making lots of improvements to its ground.
At the time of writing, Kenilworth Road does not offer sensory rooms or suites or accessible parking, although the Luton Town Disabled Supporters’ Association manages spaces in Avondale Road, and its percentage of wheelchair seats/spaces per capacity of 0.2% is one of the lowest in the league.
Despite this, the ground is accessible to all as it offers 25 seats/spaces in the stadium for fans who are wheelchair users, as well as all of the other facilities the study looked at, including accessible toilets, accessible ticket counters and an assistive hearing system.
The club did reveal that they have extensive building work going on and that the number of wheelchair spaces “may change once our ground redevelopment has been completed.”
2021/22 position: N/A
Conclusion: How accessible are Premier League stadiums?
The study shows that Premier League stadiums are very accessible for fans with a disability. Even the stadiums that are placed in lower positions, such as Luton’s Kenilworth Road, are accessible and offer lots of great facilities that make it easier for fans with a disability to attend a match. Something that the research highlighted is the fact that some of the so-called smaller teams in the Premier League, such as Bournemouth, Brighton, and Brentford, perform extremely well when it comes to the accessibility of their stadiums.
Bournemouth was the only club that had more than 1% of wheelchair seats per the capacity of its stadium, which suggests that if there is one area that premier league clubs could improve in terms of their accessibility, it is increasing the number of wheelchair seats in their stadiums.
Whilst newer stadiums such as Brighton’s AMEX Stadium, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal and Brentford’s Gtech Community Stadium all performed well, older stadiums like Liverpool’s Anfield, ranked second and Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea, ranked joint third position. This shows that you don’t need a brand-new stadium to offer great facilities for fans with a disability, but you will need to keep updating it.
Two of the bottom three stadiums are the homes of newly-promoted teams (Luton and Burnley), whilst the picturesque Craven Cottage, home of Fulham FC, was also ranked in the bottom three. A slight surprise was to see Manchester United’s Old Trafford ranking in the bottom six, but the main reason for its lower ranking is the fact that the stadium has one of the lowest percentages of wheelchair seats per capacity and does not have a sensory suite for supporters.
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