Fears of racism still rife in football
Huddersfield Town’s Commercial Director Sean Jarvis (right) said: “We all need to ensure that football grounds are inclusive environments where everyone feels safe and comfortable” and while most football clubs now have strategies to actively attract and welcome supporters from all sections of society, more work needs to be done by clubs and the authorities to challenge and change these perceptions.”
Town’s commercial director Sean Jarvis said more work had to be done.
“We pride ourselves on our ‘One Club, One Community’ mentality,” he said.
“We are committed to creating a warm and welcoming environment, for all supporters, ahead of our second season of Premier League football.
“The findings of this study show that although a lot of clubs, like ourselves, are working hard to change perceptions in football, much more work still needs to be done.
“We all need to ensure that football grounds are inclusive environments where everyone feels safe and comfortable, and can just enjoy the football and a great family day out.”
As part of the study, a number of ethnic minority football fans from across the country were interviewed, to identify the key barriers to their attendance at British football grounds.
Quotes from those surveyed include:
“Besides the cost of going to games these days, the biggest barrier for me is definitely that fear of being racially abused, just not fitting in and feeling like I don’t belong there.”
“As a small Asian guy, being around drunk, angry fans who probably don’t want me there, it’s a very scary and intimidating prospect, so for me I’m more than happy to continue watching it from the comfort and safety of my own home.”
“Having grown up in the 80s and 90s, I saw a lot of racism and violence going on in football on the TV and that’s just stuck with me really; it’s created a fear which I’d find hard to budge without actually experiencing a match for myself, but building myself up to take that risk just doesn’t seem worth it to me.”
The Terriers have vowed to continue to work with Mr McGovern to explore new initiatives and diversify their fan base.