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Together: EFL launches Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity strategy

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Figures from across football came together on Wednesday to launch the EFL’s new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, ‘Together’.

Launched at Charlton Athletic, the strategy set out a clear, five-year vision for the EFL and its Cubs to reflect and represent the communities they serve.

The new strategy will unite all aspects of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion across the season, and EFL Clubs’ kits will display the Together sleeve badge throughout the campaign.

David McArdle, the EFL's Head of EDI, said: “While football has made strides, it continues to face challenges that are reflected across society and with over 20 million attending EFL matches each season and millions more watching around the world, the League will use its platform to challenge unwelcome behaviours and promote inclusive practices, to help drive change on the pitch, in Club offices, in the stands and within the communities which Clubs call home.

“Our aim is to provide everyone the same opportunity to succeed across the EFL, but we cannot do it alone, so we look forward to working collaboratively with Clubs and equality partners to improve our game, together."

Core to the Together strategy is the need to work collaboratively and a desire to provide everyone with the same opportunity to succeed, and it serves as a reminder that, while progress has been made, there is still much to do to enact positive change across the country.

Objectives of the strategy include:

  • ensuring the workforce is representative and reflective of the communities EFL Clubs represent
  • improving the diversity of supporters attending EFL matches
  • challenging discrimination and behaviour both in the stands and social media
  • establishing a path for continual EDI developments for Clubs
  • improving the understanding of EDI across the game

See the EFL's full 'Together' strategy here.

As part of a series of panels, an audience at The Valley heard representatives from across football discuss the neccissity for progress and change.

"We're trying to create change. There's no pont this strategy bring in place if we're not going to make a change. We ned to mae sure we are doing the things now, so we are ready to make the nxet step," said McArdle.
 
Monique Choudhuri, Board Member at Women in Football, added: "We need to represent the communities we serve because it can galvanise people. EDI needs to level-up the playing field and make sure people are represented at all levels of football, on and off the pitch."
 
Sanjay Bhandari, Chair of Kick It Out, spoke of the power football has to bring people together.
 
"The point of this kind of strategy is how do we provide support for organisations in our community to achieve their ambitions? Let’s focus on the things that unite us. Nothing conncts people like football connects people," he said.
 
And Simone Pound, Director of EDI at the Professional Footballers Association, added: "We’ve all seen players asking for change that is needed, and it’s timely the EFL has a strategy to display to its clubs how they can become more inclusive."
 

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