FA plan­ning to launch di­ver­sity code in Oc­to­ber

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport | Premier League - By Mike McGrath

The Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion plans to launch a vol­un­tary di­ver­sity code in Oc­to­ber to co­in­cide with Black His­tory Month, with clubs be­ing in­vited to sign up for Equal­ity In Foot­ball Lead­er­ship to in­crease di­ver­sity in se­nior roles in the sport.

Pre­lim­i­nary talks have be­gun over the code, which will set tar­gets for di­ver­sity rather than quo­tas. In­ves­ti­ga­tions by The Daily Tele­graph have re­vealed an alarm­ing lack of black lead­ers across sport’s gov­ern­ing bod­ies and the FA’s Equal­ity In Foot­ball Lead­er­ship is aim­ing to ad­dress the prob­lem from grass roots to the elite level.

Paul El­liott, chair­man of the FA’s in­clu­sion ad­vi­sory board, set up the code and will seek sup­port from clubs, with the Chelsea and Crys­tal Palace chair­men, Bruce Buck and Steve Par­ish, al­ready back­ing it

In an open let­ter to launch the code, the for­mer Chelsea cen­tre­back said: “We must en­sure that our board­rooms and lead­er­ship po­si­tions re­flect the so­ci­ety that we live in and the peo­ple who play the game.

“Foot­ball, like in nearly ev­ery area of so­ci­ety, has black and mi­nor­ity eth­nic peo­ple un­der-rep­re­sented at all se­nior lev­els.”

The code is a sig­nif­i­cant at­tempt at fos­ter­ing gen­uine change af­ter Black Lives Mat­ter protests high­lighted the fight for equal­ity. In his let­ter El­liott stated the cam­paign was a start but would be­come an “empty ges­ture” with­out ac­tion.

Driv­ing force: Paul El­liott, chair­man of the FA’s in­clu­sion ad­vi­sory board, set up the code

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