The FA's historic diversity code brings mixed results in first year

The FA’s first ever diversity code brings mixed results as while BAME coaching hires go up in the last 12 months, the Premier League and EFL clubs miss six out of eight targets set

  • The FA’s first ever diversity code has delivered mixed results in its first year
  • 51 clubs signed up to the new code in 2020, including all 20 top-flight clubs
  • The teams failed to meet six out of the eight targets they were set by the FA
  • 26.4 percent of senior coaching hires in the mens game were BAME candidates
  • But 19.8 per cent of coaching hires were female, missing the 30 per cent target

The Football Association’s historic diversity code has delivered a mixed set of results in its first 12 months with the global pandemic viewed as key reason behind the indifferent numbers.

Last year the governing body – led by the chair of the FA’s inclusion advisory board Paul Elliott – launched the document which aimed to improve diversity within the top jobs on English football.

Fifty-one clubs signed up as founder members of the code last year, with all 20 Premier League teams now committed.

The FA’s historic diversity code has delivered a mixed set of results in its first ever year

Led by FA’s inclusion advisory chief Paul Elliott (above), 51 clubs signed up to the code in 2020

But Premier League and EFL clubs have recorded an indifferent results in the code’s first year – collectively failing to meet six out of the eight targets they were set.

On a positive note, clubs surpassed targets for new hires within senior leadership positions and senior coaching positions within the mens game.

Collectively 17.8 percent of new hires in senior leadership roles were black, Asian or mixed heritage candidates – surpassing the 15 percent pledge.

Likewise, 26.4 percent of senior coaching hires in the mens game were candidates of black, Asian or mixed heritage – exceeding the 10 percent target.

26.4 percent of senior coaching hires in the mens game were BAME candidates

English football’s key stakeholders – the FA, Premier League and EFL – collectively exceeded their targets in all but one category.

But in contrast, clubs have failed to meet their targets in both mens and women’s football in the majority of categories.

Clubs pledged to make 30 percent of the new hires in senior leadership roles female, but delivered 19.8 percent. Similarly teams were asked to make 30 percent of new hires in team operations women – but only reached 25.5 percent.

Teams also failed to reach their diversity targets in team operations, overall coaching targets in mens and women’s football.

Premier League and EFL clubs missed six out of the eight targets set to them this past year

Yet there is an understanding that the numbers were significantly impacted by the fact clubs were gripped by the crippling financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Recruitment of new staff was put on the back burner by a number of clubs, indeed in maay cases teams were forced to reduce their workforce, to cope with the financial blackholes created by the pandemic.

Edleen John, the FA’s director of international relations, corporate affairs and co-partner for equality, diversity and inclusion, said: ‘This is a positive start in incredibly challenging circumstances and while the progress is promising, it must improve further. Each signatory can play their part and that’s why coming together in this way is powerful.’




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