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Twelve equality experts appointed to EFL Advisory Board

Twelve equality experts appointed to EFL Advisory Board

The EFL has today announced the 12 members of its newly formed Together Advisory Panel, which will guide the work of the League on issues relating to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. 

The panel is drawn from across football as the EFL continues its mission, to ensure that football – be it the workplace, stadiums, communities and online – is a safe, inclusive and enjoyable environment for everyone. 

Chaired by the EFL’s Independent Non-Executive Director and Chief Executive of Mumsnet, Justine Roberts, the panel features six football equality stakeholders as well as representation from the Professional Footballers Association and Football Supporters Association.    

The 12 panel members are:  

  • Justine Roberts (Chair) - EFL, Independent Non-Executive Director  
  • Sadiq Patel – EFL, Senior Football Systems and Analysis Manager 
  • Hasnain Mohammed – EFL, Club Relationship Officer 
  • Hollie Varney – Kick It Out, Chief Operating Officer 
  • Owain Davies – Level Playing Field, Chief Executive Officer 
  • Lou Englefield – Football v Homophobia, Chief Executive Officer 
  • Terry Angus – Professional Footballers Association, EDI Executive 
  • Lungi Macebo – Women in Football, Board Member 
  • Nilesh Chauhan – Football Supporters Association, Fans for Diversity Manager 
  • Dr Sara Ward – Carnegie School of Sport, Director of Executive Education 
  • Catherine Forshaw – Brabners Associate, National Football Museum, Trustee
  • Geoff Wilson – Global sports strategist and former Irish Football Association

David McArdle, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for the EFL, said: 

The EFL aims for football across the League to be more reflective and representative of the communities in which we serve and the appointment of the Together Advisory Panel is a vital next step in this process, with each member bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion space.

Football has come a long way in recent years, but we recognise there is still a great deal of work to be done. The Together Panel will play a key role in that work going forward, advising the EFL and its Clubs on all areas of work on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.”

Justine Roberts, Chair of the Together Panel, added: 

This is an important step on a journey that the EFL is on, and I’m excited in my role as Chair to be a part of a panel that will help to ensure effective and sustainable changes are made.  

It is really evident that so much great work is already happening, with many EFL Clubs delivering a wide variety of initiatives to make our great game more diverse and inclusive. The establishment of the Together Panel will bring fresh new voices to the conversation as we continue to make real progress in this area in the next few years.”  

The formation of the Together Advisory Panel is the latest milestone in the EFL’s work on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Since the beginning of the 2022/23 tangible progress has been delivered with some of the highlights including: 

  • 7,000 collective hours of EDI Education delivered to over 1,000 individuals – smashing the five-year target for the strategy in the first year of delivery 
  • 363 individuals given Mental Health Awareness Training 
  • 2000 diverse books donated by the EFL and its Clubs to primary schools across the country 
  • Introduction of I-Recruit – an anonymised recruitment tool to ensure more diverse candidates are interviewed for roles within EFL Clubs 
  • 100% of EFL Championship Clubs engaging with Level Playing Field to make football more accessible for disabled supporters.  
  • 65 Diverse Fan Groups established across EFL Clubs 
  • 120 hours of diverse stakeholder consultation in the first year of Together Strategy 

The establishment of the Together Advisory Panel follows the launch of the EFL’s ‘Together Against Racism’ campaign calling on football supporters up and down the country to take a stand against all forms of racism and discrimination and report any incidences they see or hear online.

One year of the EFL’s EDI strategy ‘Together’

One year of the EFL’s EDI strategy ‘Together’

A year on from the EFL’s launch of the ‘Together’ strategy, the EFL's Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, David McCardle, has provided an update on the strategy and the impact it is having across the EFL and its Clubs.  

Twelve months ago, the EFL launched its new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy to aid Clubs in taking steps on their EDI journey. 

This month, we mark the one-year anniversary with the launch of a new short film highlighting the diverse nature of supporters across the League with the key message that we are Together for the love of the game. In addition, we have highlighted the good practice which has been undertaken by EFL Clubs throughout the 2022/23 season in conjunction with the Together Strategy. 

‘Together’ set out a clear five-year vision for the EFL and its Clubs to reflect and represent the communities they serve. 

Following the launch of the EFL Together strategy in August 2022, all 72 Clubs have made a contribution to breaking down barriers and improved their processes and outlooks, leading to sustainable change, which will allow greater diversity. 

Involving 100 hours of consultations with Equality Stakeholders and 100 hours of Club Development meetings, the strategy has seen great success during the 2022/23 season. 

Together comprises five pillars: Support, Educate, Communicate, Embed and Listen – all of which have been covered over the course of last campaign. 

Last term saw the refreshed EFL Equality Code of Practice which was a key deliverable within the Together Strategy and will allow the opportunity for EFL Clubs to have a continued EDI journey. 

Clubs throughout the EFL undertake the Code’s which assesses work, learning, development and commitment to EDI and provides a grade of Bronze, Silver or Gold after review. Throughout season 2022/23 the EFL supported each of its Clubs during the development phase in preparation for every Club being assessed during the 2023/24 season. 

To support the creation of a League-wide diverse workforce, the EFL has also launched I-Recruit which is an anonymised recruitment tool for Clubs.  

Across the EFL there are over 65 diverse fan groups, some of which have been established with support of Fans for Diversity. In addition, Clubs have also been supported in the establishment of a new Discrimination Reporting mechanism. 

The EFL’s Inclusion Team – along with Stakeholders, EFL Clubs and Football Bodies – delivered 48 online webinars for EFL Clubs and EFL Staff to attend during the 2022/23 season. Clubs have completed over 6,500 collective hours of EDI Education, which exceeded the initial target of 1,000 collective hours each season for the next five seasons. 

And in May 2023, a number of conferences to help support Clubs and to share best practice were held. All three conferences hosted over 100 delegates with guest speakers, Club and fan experiences in focus.  

More recently, the EFL Together Advisory Panel has set progress in motion for a new panel which will act as a forum for advice, guiding the work of the EFL by providing advice of the highest possible quality on issues relating to Equality Diversity and Inclusion. 

And the EFL and our Clubs are not finished in this journey. The hard work continues into the new season when all of the aforementioned tools and services will continue to support Clubs to make an impact and drive change.  

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