EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION (EID)
“Football should be a game for all” - Tracey Crouch, November 2021
These sound like management buzz words. Is there really a problem?
Ms. Crouch makes four key points to back up the belief that football needs to do far better :
• the role of British Asians in the English game at all levels is negligible
• it is over thirty years since any male, professional footballer felt able to openly declare that they are homosexual
• there are only a handful of black managers in the EPL and EFL
• only a tiny fraction of club owners and directors are female
Ms. Crouch makes the point that not only is this anachronistic in the 21st century, it is also holding the game back : there is plenty of research evidence to suggest that industries that are diverse - in terms of who the key decision makers are - consistently make better quality decisions.
She acknowledges that progress is being made. But it needs to happen more consistently, more quickly and be far more widespread.
Her main recommendations are :
• that all clubs should have a permanent plan to promote EID
• these plans should be assessed by the regulator on an ongoing basis
• EID should be a central plank of whatever clubs are doing to improve corporate governance
• incorporating existing approaches won’t be enough, as they are voluntary and often narrow in their remit….
• … instead clubs and football authorities should be asked to adopt the new approaches currently being developed under the UK Sport Code
What is the overall aim of this activity?
• to have some consistency and clarity about what football is doing in this area
• to use best practice as the benchmark
• keep it proportionate and minimise the burden of compliance
• involve everyone with a stake in improvement in the process
• use EID plans to generate high quality data about what is happening, and help decision making. This data is not really available to a satisfactory degree at the moment
Ultimately, the aim is to make football as an industry far more of a reflection of the community that loves and supports it.