No More Minimum Standards!

Yesterday I saw something on Twitter which made me cry.

I came across it several times and it made me cry every time.

Southampton FC

Hadley is a massive Southampton fan and his family have been asking the club to provide accessible toilet facilities with a hoist and changing bench for 3 years.

Like many children his age, Hadley is desperate to see his team play. So desperate that he is willing to accept that he does not matter.

That is how much he loves his team.

And that is what makes me cry.

This small boy has already accepted that this is his future.

If he wishes to do everyday things he has to accept that he doesn’t matter.

Twitter was filled with support for Hadley. As it should!

Although I saw one comment saying that Southampton FC were already meeting the minimum standards.


Are they planning to play to the minimum standards?
Will the grass be managed to minimum standards?
Will the kit be made to minimum standards? Or the balls?
What about the coaching skills? Or training hours?

Maybe the players would be happy with national minimum wage? 

Minimum standards are just that – the minimum requirement.

Not the best, not the ideal, not the desired, just the minimum.

Nobody celebrates the minimum standards!

For Hadley, the “minimum standard” toilets at his club are inaccessible.

So he is expected to find a way to manage in substandard toilets.

Hadley, you are worth more.

So much more.

Southampton FC, are you really a minimum standards kind of club?

I heard that you were “The Saints”?

Please show every disabled fan that you are.

Show Hadley that he matters.

Take a look at Hadley’s Heroes See how long his family have been asking Southampton to care and see some of the other fans who also depend on these facilities.

Hadley represents so many fans, so many people.

Hadley is as able as anyone else to watch the match. He wears the strip, he cheers his team, he badgers his mum for anything Southampton FC related. He wants his season ticket.

His wheelchair doesn’t disable him but something as simple and fixable as a toilet does.

It isn’t right.

Please join me in telling Southampton FC that Hadley deserves better.

Take a look at @SouthamptonFC on Twitter.

They share comments like this one,

“To celebrate the start of the new Premier League season, Virgin Media will be offering a welcome drink to every supporter attending Saturday’s home game against Watford.”
Read more HERE

Not only will a free drink for every supporter cost a fair bit but those people having a drink are likely to need the toilet. Just like Hadley.

“It is the latest in a long line of exciting initiatives from Virgin Media to benefit the club’s supporters, and is all part of its commitment to being more than a shirt sponsor, with the company wanting to make the experience of following Saints and watching football at St Mary’s the best it can be.”

No mention of minimum standards.






Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

22 thoughts on “No More Minimum Standards!

    1. I cannot understand how a big club could treat fans so badly. A service station in Cornwall installed the facility needed for just over £6000. They did it because I asked. They did it because they realised it was needed. They cared and sorted it within 3 months.

      How can a big football club not care? 3 and a half years have gone by since they were first asked.


    1. It is utterly heart-breaking. I cried for much of two days about this little boy. Every time I thought about him, I was in tears. For him and for his mother.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Poor little boy, it should be illegal for any venue/facility over a certain size to NOT have a Changing Places facility… people with disabilities deserve to be able to go to the toilet with dignity just like everyone else. If they can waste money on giving out free beers and fancy sculptures in shopping centres, why can’t they make sure everyone has the facilities they deserve? Thanks for sharing x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cried for this child for two days before writing it.

      People often have no idea just how limiting life can be when you have disabilities.


    1. I am hoping so. Southampton FC have now announced that they will be installing a Changing Places toilet but they are being a little coy with the details. It appears that it will be in the corporate area which will make it difficult for many of those who need it to get to it during half time.

      Getting them to agree to put one in is sadly only a small part of the difficulty. Getting it sited in the same area as an increased number of wheelchair spaces would have seemed obvious to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow that is just incredible! How can they get away with this? Minimum standards for who? This is just so sad that in this day and age everyone isn’t included and respected. Thanks for sharing this James. #KCACOLS


  3. Very sad to hear and not in line with what we should be expecting now. Thanks for raising this in your post.
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.


    1. It is a disgrace. They have since announced that they plan to include an accessible toilet facility with a hoist and bench later this year but they are not keen to listen or understand how best to site it.

      Liked by 1 person

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