Updated: Sunday, 19th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Man Utd disabled seating row: Lifelong fan launches campaign against club

Man Utd disabled seating row: Lifelong fan launches campaign against club

| By Tommy Wilson

A lifelong Manchester United fan has accused the world-famous club of ‘discriminating’ against disabled supporters and is launching a campaign against them after being told he cannot sit with his three sons at Old Trafford.

Martin Emery, from South Wales, was told it wouldn’t be possible for him to sit with his elder disabled son Jordan and two younger sons Ethan and Zac.

There is only one seat available for wheelchair carers and it is against stadium ‘safety protocol’ to have more.

The father of three, originally from Denton in South Manchester, was advised by the club to visit Rochdale, Oldham or Stockport.

Martin was then told he would have to pay for another person to look after Zac and Ethan elsewhere in the stadium, while he cared for Jordan in the disabled supporters' section.

“It’s left me feeling really gutted about the club to be honest, and I’m torn now,” he told MM.

“As a family we always try to do our best to make sure that Jordan and the boys get to experience things together as brothers should.

“Although I like to think of myself as ‘super-dad’, I can’t really sit in two places at once."


'TORN': Martin (left) was compelled to launch the campaign against his beloved Manchester United as he can't sit with his three sons Jordan (centre), Zac and Ethan

Jordan, 17, is wheelchair bound due to suffering from a number of medical conditions and severe learning difficulties, which require 24/7 care.

After originally purchasing three memberships for himself and his two younger sons, six-year-old Ethan and four-year-old Zac, Martin contacted the club via email to see how disabled seating worked and if it would be possible to make arrangements to sit together as a family.

A shocking reply from Manchester United’s disability liaison officer read: "There are some clubs that would welcome you with open arms and possibly ask you to bring as many family members as possible.

"The downside is it wouldn’t be at Old Trafford, most probably Rochdale, Oldham or Stockport."

Martin was outraged at the response and believed it was unacceptable from a member of the club’s staff.

“I literally could not believe what I was reading,“ he said.

“Is this email actually telling a fan, to go and watch Rochdale, Oldham or Stockport?  

"And what made this so called ‘liaison officer’ believe that he could say such a thing to not only a fan, but a paying member and supporter whose membership and ticket purchases pay for his wage?”

Martin was eventually told that the club would be unable to accommodate his request to sit together as a family due to stadium ‘safety protocols’, something which he believed didn’t add up.

“Basically what I am understanding, is that if my eldest son was not a wheelchair user or had any medical conditions I could buy four memberships, four tickets, and sit and watch the football altogether as a family,” he said.

“But as a direct action of my eldest using a wheelchair, as a result of a medical condition, not only can my family not enjoy the football sat together, but we also will have to buy an extra membership for another adult, and an additional adult match-day ticket.

“The reason for this is the stadium's safety protocols, so what safety issues are there with me watching the football with my family?”

You can sign Martin’s petition against Manchester United by clicking here. [http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/family-wheelchair-spaces-at-football]

You can also follow his campaign on Twitter by clicking here. [http://twitter.com/utddiscriminate]