Kick It Out has announced the appointment of Tony Burnett as its new Chief Executive Officer. Tony will take up his role on 1st February 2021.

Tony is an experienced diversity and inclusion specialist and business leader, having successfully supported a number of public and private sector organisations to implement lasting change.

He joins Kick It Out from West Midlands Police, where he has been Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion since January 2018.

Tony also brings experience from previous senior Diversity and Inclusion positions, including Lloyds Banking Group where he was Head of Diversity and Inclusion, and Ford Motor Company where he was European Diversity Manager. He has eight years of experience as a Diversity and Inclusion consultant where he supported some major public and private sector organisations across the UK, Ireland and Africa.

Tony also has experience on the pitch, having featured in a FA Youth Cup fixture at Anfield at the age of 17, before moving into semi-professional and amateur football where he played for a number of years. After retiring from playing, Tony gained his UEFA B licence and coached youth football for over 10 years.

Tony Burnett, incoming Kick It Out CEO, says: “As an avid football fan, I have been aware of the work of Kick It Out for a long time now and have always been passionate about the cause they represent. Football should be a game where everyone feels they belong, and we must continue to work hard to make that a reality. I’m really looking forward to getting started and helping to lead this organisation forward over the coming years.”

Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, adds: “We are absolutely delighted that Tony has agreed to become our new CEO. Tony brings a crucial blend of experience from the pitch and from the boardroom. Tony’s experience as a young player and as a coach will resonate with many of the people we represent. He has experienced what they are experiencing. His track record of driving change as a diversity and inclusion professional, demonstrates that he can translate that experience into meaningful change. I am looking forward to working with Tony, delivering our new strategy and being a galvanising force for inclusive change in football.”