The Steering Group tasked with driving the development of the Football Leadership Diversity Code met for the first time today, confirming their aim of delivering the code by Sunday 11 October 2020, to coincide with England’s UEFA Nations League fixture against Belgium at Wembley Stadium.
On 18 June 2020, Paul Elliott, chair of our Inclusion Advisory Board, announced the creation of the voluntary code, which will be fully supported by the FA. It would be part of a firm and tangible commitment from organisations and clubs across English football to diversity and inclusion.
Today the Steering Group, which includes key individuals from across the game, met to discuss the proposed structure of the code and a range of principles which will cover diversity across leadership teams and coaching setups across both the professional and grassroots game. The group also committed to a firm timeline to ensure the code is delivered during October, which also marks Black History Month.
“We’ve had a fantastic response from senior leaders across the game, including owners, chairs, players and coaches," revealed Elliott.
"Today’s meeting was a great kick-off to the three-month programme and with October marking Black History Month, and coinciding with important England fixtures, it feels like the right time to launch the code.
“While it’s still early in development, it’s clear that everybody is pulling in the same direction and there's a strong will from the group to create positive action and make meaningful change.
"Together with leaders from across the industry we are hoping to drive the nation’s response to inequality by ensuring the leadership of our national sport reflects the communities that watch and love the game.”
The Steering Group comprises:-
• Paul Elliott, Chair
• Mark Bullingham, FA chief executive officer
• Sue Hough, chair of FA Women’s Board
• Rupinder Bains, non-executive director, FA Board
• Sanjay Bhandari, chair, Kick It Out
• Bobby Barnes, deputy chief executive, PFA
• Bruce Buck, chairman, Chelsea FC
• Steve Parish, chairman, Crystal Palace FC
• Donna Cullen, executive director, Tottenham Hotspur FC
• Tyrone Mings, footballer, Aston Villa FC and England
• Troy Deeney, captain, Watford FC
• Hope Powell, manager, Brighton & Hove Albion WFC
• Nigel Pearson, manager, Watford FC
• Chris Powell, coach, England
• Michael Johnson, coach, England MU21s
• Chris Hughton, manager and former professional footballer
• Rachel Yankey, former professional footballer
We are also developing independent expert panels, which will be consulted regularly throughout the development of the voluntary code. The final makeup of these panels will be confirmed in due course but will comprise:-
• Coaching, co-chaired by Hope Powell and Liam Rosenior, first-team coach, Derby County;
• Clubs, chaired by Bruce Buck, chairman, Chelsea FC;
• Players, chaired by Troy Deeney, captain, Watford FC;
• Media, chaired by Sami Mokbel, chief football reporter, Daily Mail
• Grassroots, chaired by Sue Hough, chair of The FA Women’s Board
The FA, Steering Group and independent expert panels will continue to collaborate in developing the Football Leadership Diversity Code. Further progress updates will follow in due course.