English FA launches new diversity code

The English Football Association (FA) unveiled a new diversity code yesterday, in the hope of ensuring more ethnic minority candidates land senior jobs within the sport.

The Football Leadership Diversity Code will ask clubs to achieve targets in both coaching positions and significant management roles.

Although the new code is currently voluntary, 42 clubs from across the English Premier League, English Football League, Women's Super League and Women's Championship have signed up to its provisions.

Former Chelsea and Celtic defender Paul Elliott, head of the FA's inclusion advisory board, said: "Many clubs are already doing good work in this area and we have been pleased to see football stand together this year to challenge the injustice we are seeing in society.

"However, positive and tangible action is required to drive change and take the next step."

Under the code, clubs will be expected to make 15 per cent of new executive positions available to people from minority backgrounds.


Gender diversity is also part of the code, with 30 per cent of new appointments in senior leadership positions to be female candidates while women's football clubs will be expected to have at least 50 per cent female coaching staff.

In men's professional football, 25 per cent of new hires will be of black, Asian or mixed heritage. If applicants meeting the job specifications apply, interview shortlists will need to have at least one male and one female black, Asian or of mixed-heritage candidate.

The code aims to increase equality of opportunity for non-white and female candidates, amid concerns they are unfairly discriminated, but only through hiring targets rather than by the imposition of strict quotas. - AFP