Coaching and representation the focus at round-table

Wednesday 21 Jan 2015
Heather Rabbatts is chair of the Inclusion Advisory Board

FA Board member Heather Rabbatts and Minister for Sport Helen Grant co-chaired a meeting between the football authorities and diversity campaign groups.

The round-table meeting on Tuesday was concerned with how football needs to change to ensure the rich diversity on the pitch is seen across dugouts, boardrooms, club structures and, crucially, managers and coaches.

The meeting offered an opportunity to discuss elements of, and progress made against, the updated English Football's Inclusion & Anti-Discrimination Action Plan, which incorporates progress made so far by the football bodies, as well as current and future priorities.

Helen Grant

Minister for Sport Helen Grant

Rabbatts, who chairs the Inclusion Advisory Board, said: "There is now a clear programme of change which all the football authorities are working to.

"At its heart it is about ending the 'closed system', which has characterised football for so long.

"The 'On Board' governance training programme, supported by The FA and the PFA, is now placing senior ex-BAME players onto boards to develop their experience to promote representation at the highest level of governance."

She added: "We're making headway on the coaching front too.

"On developing BAME coaches and managers both The FA and Premier League have schemes in place which will provide places for black coaches to gain elite experience.

"And the Football League is developing its own proposals which it will take to its meeting in June."

“There is now a clear programme of change which all the football authorities are working to.”

Heather Rabbatts 

Helen Grant said: "It was a constructive and positive meeting with key football stakeholders on what more the game can do to get BAME people coming through as coaches, administrators and on to boards.

"Football is making progress with its Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan, including initiatives like 'On Board' and the Premier League's ECAS scheme recruiting BAME participants. 

"Football has agreed to look into what more practical steps can be taken to help improve the situation further. 

"I was pleased with the level of commitment shown at the meeting and will be receiving regular updates from football on this important issue, with a follow-up meeting planned for the summer."

By FA Staff