Institutional perspectives on the implementation of disability legislation and services for Spectators with Disabilities in European professional football

Juan Luis Paramio-Salcines, Paul James Kitchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary national and international football governing bodies and professional footballclubs are expected to comply with stadium accessibility laws and regulations. They are also required to demonstrate that are responsible to all their customers, including those who experience impairment and/or disability as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies. One strategy to address stadium accessibility and wider-equity issues for spectators with disabilities (SwD) and their companions, is through appointing the 'incipient managerial position' of the Disability Liaison Officer (DLO). This exploratory paper is motivated by a paucity of studies examining impairment and/or disability within sport management. Drawing on institutional theory (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Friedland & Alford, 1991) this paper seeks to address this gap by examining the implementation of disability legislation in professional football within England, Germany and Spain. This paper critically reviews both the actions of the governing bodies and clubs to interpret and implement services for Spectators with Disabilities (SwD). Our findings revealed a significant variance in the depth of policy implementation between these countries. This variation was due to the relationship between the prevailing institutional logic and the management of accessibility which resulted, or did not result in isomorphism occurring. The article concludes with implications for the management of sport and a call for further research into the implementation of equity policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-348
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2012



  • Spectators with Disabilities
  • Institutional Theory
  • Football
  • Accessibility
  • Equity
  • Disability Liaison Officer

Cite this