The Football Association has disclosed that despite promises to enhance their ethnic and gender representation, football clubs have all fallen short of their yearly goals.
The third year of the FLDC, a voluntary agreement between the FA and 56 clubs from various leagues, has not made as much progress as expected, according to Mark Bullingham. The chief executive of the FA expressed disappointment and revealed that starting next year, all clubs in the top four divisions of men’s football and the top two divisions of women’s football will be required to share data on their workforce diversity.
The FLDC has established voluntary goals in four aspects of football recruitment: senior leadership positions, team operations, men’s coaching, and women’s coaching. Data from the last 12 months reveals that clubs have not met any of these goals, with a particular shortfall of 9% in the recruitment of Black, Asian, and mixed heritage candidates for men’s coaching (only 16% of the targeted 25% were recruited).
Several clubs had successful performances, including Fulham, Walsall, and West Bromwich Albion, meeting all their objectives. The FA, English Football League, and Premier League achieved their agreed targets for the second consecutive year. However, top clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Newcastle only achieved one target at most.
According to Bullingham, the numbers indicate that additional adjustments are necessary. He stated, “The implementation of the code marked the start of professional football’s efforts towards a more transparent and inclusive workforce. We all recognize that in order to accelerate our progress, we must continue to adapt.”
Following conversations with organizers of men’s and women’s competitions, the Football Association (FA) will be modifying its rulebook to mandate all clubs to submit a report twice a year on the ethnic and gender diversity of their staff. This requirement, which has been advocated for by Kick It Out for a long time, is seen as a crucial step in promoting transparency in football recruitment.
Kick It Out’s CEO, Tony Burnett, stated that there should be consequences for not meeting diversity goals and these targets should be incorporated into the rules of FA, Premier League, and EFL. Without this dedication, the extent of the issue will not be clear and it will be difficult to come up with solutions to make football more inclusive of its fans.
Paul Elliott, one of the creators of the FLDC, expressed his appreciation for the governing bodies of the game for acknowledging the necessity for change. He stated, “We are changing the culture.” He also recognized football for accepting the importance of transparency. Making employment data reporting mandatory is a necessary progression in the ongoing development of the sport. Football is wisely adapting and advancing.