I announced the creation of the Football Leadership Diversity Code back in June following the death of George Floyd and the consequent unanimous support from English football of the message that Black Lives Matter.
It's been brilliant to see football stand together during these difficult times on an issue of the utmost importance. The terrible incident mentioned happened over 100 days ago but the need to ensure positive action is enforced as a result remains strong.
Our fight for equality across all levels of football, and our desire to ensure it is a game free from discrimination – both on and off the pitch – will not end.
We want to drive the nation’s response to inequality by ensuring boardrooms and leadership positions across our national sport better reflect the society we live in and the people who play the game. It will signal a change to the country and ensure that our support of the message that Black Lives Matter is not an empty gesture.
Since we announced the creation of the Code, we’ve spoken at length with each of the independent expert panels which are helping to support its development, including coaches, HR directors, leaders across grassroots football and media. We’ve had a fantastic and warming response and there’s clearly appetite to create meaningful change.
Part of our three-month consultation process has also seen us speak to leading players such as Harry Kane, Tyrone Mings, Jordan Henderson, Nikita Parris, Leah Williamson, Lucy Bronze, Troy Deeney and Wes Morgan.
Each of these players has either experienced discrimination directly or witnessed first-hand the impact it has had on a teammate, so it's crucial that we hear from people with lived experiences within the game as we continue our fight to ensure football is truly for all.
Pleasingly, each player we have spoken to has shown eagerness to support the development of this Code and to use their platforms to play their part in helping to create equal opportunities across the game.
We also recently brought together representatives from Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace, Brighton & Hove Albion, Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City and others to discuss the progress we have made to date ahead of the Code’s proposed launch in October 2020, which will coincide with Black History Month.
To this point, we have developed a range of principles which will see clubs commit to being leaders in football diversity. They include meaningful commitments with targets for clubs, with considerations across senior leadership, coaching and senior support staff, developing talent, recruitment, internal culture and reporting.
While the final version and targets of the Code are still being agreed, I'm delighted that the representatives from each club were supportive of our suggestions in principle and are committed to continue working with us moving forwards on this very important subject.
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