English FA publish a diversity code as Elliott emphasises results rather than rhetoric

June 19 – The FA’s Paul Elliott (pictured) has outlined a voluntary code for greater diversity in leading roles in the English game. 

Elliott, the chair of the inclusion advisory board at the English governing body, has warned that English football’s support of the Black Lives Matter campaign will be interpreted as an “empty gesture” if it doesn’t lead to greater representation of ethnic minorities in key positions in the game.

The Black Lives Matter protests, sparked by the death of George Floyd in the United States last month, have gained significant prominence and traction in English football with player names on shirts replaced by the slogan in the first round of Premier League matches after the coronavirus shutdown and players taking a knee before matches at Aston Villa and Manchester City on Wednesday.

Elliott has urged both football clubs and governing bodies to “step up” and increase the level of black, Asian and minority ethnic representation at the top of their organisations.

“Our aim is to add to the good work clubs are already doing up and down the country, working with them to create meaningful targets which we can then all use to demonstrate  collective progress,” said Elliot.

“Adopting the code will signify that together we want to go on a journey to ensure football leads the way. We’ll audit annually and will be transparent in publishing results. To do this clubs will need to be prepared to be transparent about their diversity statistics.”

The former Celtic and Chelsea player said that he will work with other senior black leaders in the game to work on the details of the code, but that representation must improve across the board, from the grassroots to elite level.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1593922266labto1593922266ofdlr1593922266owedi1593922266sni@o1593922266fni1593922266