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29th Mar, 2023

The FA supports Kick It Out's EDI recommendations

Our statement on the news that The FA and The FSA have backed Kick It Out's three recommendations on how the Independent Football Regulator can improve EDI in the game.

Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari: “Kick It Out welcomes the support from Football Association Chair Debbie Hewitt regarding our recommendations about how the Independent Football Regulator can improve the game’s record on equality, diversity and inclusion.

Football Supporters’ Association chief executive Kevin Miles, who is also a trustee on our board, stated Kick It Out’s key asks during Tuesday’s DCMS hearing on football’s white paper, which Debbie Hewitt said were: ‘Very practical and give good guidance as to how and where EDI can accelerate.’

These include:

  • EDI requirements should be included in the Independent Regulator’s Code for Football Governance as reflective of good regulatory practice.
  • Those requirements should include significant data transparency reporting for clubs, governing bodies and leagues.
  • The process for recruitment of the leadership of the new regulator should adopt best practice on inclusion (from the creation of the job description through to interviews and onboarding).

We also welcome comments during the committee hearing from Premier League chief executive Richard Masters and EFL chair Rick Parry, who both said they would welcome greater transparency regarding diversity and discriminatory data, and also the chance to be more collaborative, when asked by MP Rupa Huq.

The way football recruits and develops talent is still a work in progress but the creation of an Independent Football Regulator offers an opportunity to drive change and make football more transparent. It can help solve some of the long-term questions that stubbornly remain.

Why are there so few black managers, given their success on the field? Why are South Asians virtually invisible in the game, especially on the pitch? Why do football club boards not look like the communities they purport to represent?

As Debbie Hewitt accurately said today: ‘These measures are only the starting point [but] without those measures, you don’t know what progress you’re making.’  

This is a golden chance for football to collaborate on an issue that, much like the wider ambition of the Independent Football Regulator, it largely agrees upon. We will work with parliamentarians and the new regulator and, in due course, will share more detailed recommendations for the EDI elements of the Code for Football Governance.

We call upon all football clubs, leagues and supporters to back this approach to enable us collectively to make football a game where everyone truly feels that they belong.”