The Level Playing Field Weeks of Action 2021 run from 27 February to 14 March involving clubs from across England and Wales. 

CAFE and Level Playing Field (LPF) have worked together to improve access and inclusion in football for disabled fans since 2009. CAFE's European-wide Week of Action (6-14 March 2021) is a celebration of access and inclusion and aligns with our partners’ Level Playing Field’s Weeks of Action in England and Wales (27 February - 14 March 2021).

The Level Playing Field Weeks of Action activities kicked off with 26 clubs from across the English Football League supporting the campaign, including 20 dedicating league fixtures to the cause.

With fans being unable to attend any live fixtures due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s campaign has been very different with social media playing a bigger role than ever before.

Level Playing Field marked the beginning of the campaign on Friday 26 February, with a film in partnership with Bolton Wanderers and the EFL, featuring Level Playing Field ambassador and Bolton fan Morgan Parry and his dad, Stephen.

Manchester City started the celebrations on social media amongst Premier League clubs to their 9 million + following on Twitter.

Whilst Crystal Palace warmed-up in Level Playing Field t-shirts before their game against Fulham at Selhurst Park, managers Carlo Ancelotti, Scott Parker and Roy Hodsgon all showcased their support for the campaign by wearing the Level Playing Field badge for their televised fixtures.

Everton Disabled Supporters Association (EDSA) were the Supporters Club of the Match for their home fixture against Southampton. A group of 20 lucky fans from EDSA also had the opportunity to be the virtual mascots for the game, reaffirming the club’s commitment to access and inclusion.

Eight Championship clubs were involved in the opening seven days of the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action. Cardiff City, Coventry City, and Watford all got behind the campaign across their social media channels.

Derby County produced a fantastic video, featuring Derby number one and Scotland international hero David Marshall, and fellow first-team player Matthew Clarke, as they surprised Derby County Community Trust DS active squad with a video call.

Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End took to the field for their warm-up ahead of their Saturday afternoon fixtures in their Level Playing Field t-shirts. Both the clubs and their respective Community Trusts were vocal on social media, showcasing the work they have done, and are continuing to do throughout the community, with a specific focus on schools.

Preston north End players wear LPF warm up t-shirts before paying Blackburn

Reading and Huddersfield Town scheduled their midweek fixtures as part of the Weeks of Action celebrations. Whilst both clubs highlighted the campaign by warming-up in Level Playing Field t-shirts, Huddersfield Town utilised their LED pitch parameter boards to spread awareness of the campaign to the club’s iFollow viewers, a first for Level Playing Field.

Burton Albion, Fleetwood Town, AFC Wimbledon, Lincoln City, MK Dons, Northampton Town and Portsmouth were amongst the first League 1 clubs to celebrate the LPF Weeks of Action.

Burton Albion designated their home game against Sunderland to the campaign on Saturday 20 February. Former Chelsea forward and current Albion boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink supported the LPF Weeks of Action, and gave a nod to the campaign in his pre-match media duties:

MK Dons manager Russell Martin was heavily involved in the club’s Weeks of Action plans as he took time out of his busy schedule to host a Disabled Fans Forum, with first-team players Andy Cullen and Matt O’Riley in attendance.

These are just some highlights of what has been an extremely well celebrated campaign across England and Wales and CAFE would like to join each of these clubs in reiterating our support for the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action 2021. 

CAFE Media and Communications Manager Michael Rice, who manages the CAFE Week of Action said, "It is wonderful to see yet another successful Level Playing Field Weeks of Action across England and Wales. The initiative is continuing to go from strength to strength and, even in these difficult times, stakeholders across both countries are taking this opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to access and inclusion".

"We are proud to partner with our friends at LPF, working together towards an accessible, inclusive and welcoming experience for all, and we send them a huge congratulations on this season's campaign", added Michael.

For more information on Level Playing Field, their Weeks of Action and the fantastic work they do year-round to improve access and inclusion for disabled fans in England and Wales, please visit their website. 

Published 12/03/21