English football clubs have collectively failed to hit annual targets to improve their ethnic and gender diversity, the Football Association (FA) said on Wednesday in a report on the Football Leadership Diversity Code for the 2022-23 season.
A total of 53 clubs from the Premier League and English Football League (EFL) have signed up to the code, which was introduced in 2020 to focus on increasing equality of opportunity to encourage recruitment of diverse talent across senior leadership teams, team operations and coaching setups.
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“Progress is being made in some areas, however the workforce across the professional game in England is falling short of reflecting the levels of diversity amongst the playing population…,” the FA said.
“Hiring rates are currently not high enough to drive the rapid change needed.”
The FA added that it plans to make it mandatory for professional clubs in the English leagues “to report data on age, sex, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation within their organisations”.
Anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out’s Chief Executive Tony Burnett urged the Premier League and the EFL to implement sanctions for non-compliance.
“Without that commitment, we won’t know the true scale of the challenge nor be able to find solutions to make football more representative of the people who love the game,” Burnett said.