Kick It Out CEO Roisin Wood will be stepping down from her role, after nine years at the helm.

Roisin joined Kick It Out as CEO in 2011 and has been pivotal in managing and leading the organisation’s equality work and fostering a more inclusive, cohesive environment in English football, as well as in communities across the country. She was also awarded an OBE in 2018 for services to tackling discrimination in football.

Roisin will formally step down on 16th October and our current Chair, Sanjay Bhandari will take up the position of Executive Chair until the end of this year, whilst we look to recruit a replacement CEO in the coming months.

Roisin has played a significant role in transforming the landscape of football, including developing our reporting processes; growing our “Raise Your Game” mentoring programme, which has helped hundreds of young people with their first break in the football industry; and building a series of educational initiatives aimed at developing future leaders in the game. She has increased engagement with fans through the development of the Fans for Diversity programme and the fans’ education programme in partnership with the Football Supporters’ Association.

Reflecting on her decision, Roisin Wood says: “I have spent a fantastic nine years leading Kick It Out but feel that now is the right time for a change and for me to take on new challenges. It has been an honour to lead this organisation. When I first came into the role, Kick It Out was predominantly focused on racism but we expanded our focus to tackle all forms of discrimination and to focus on proactively building a more inclusive environment in football. We have seen an increase in resources and in recognition over this time. We have come a long way and still have many challenges ahead and I am very proud to have been a part of the Kick It Out story.

Since I arrived in 2011, I have worked with so many fantastic staff members, trustees, volunteers, partners and members of the public, who are absolutely vital to Kick It Out’s work. I know that the team will continue to drive real change and deliver fantastic work. I look forward to seeing the organisation continue to thrive and I wish it every success.”

Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, adds: “On behalf of everyone at Kick It Out, it is my honour to thank Roisin for her loyal and dedicated service over many years. She has driven the charity forward through some difficult times with increased levels of discrimination being reported in recent years, high profile incidents both on and off the field, and many organisational changes across football. We all wish Roisin the best of luck in her future ventures. She will be missed.

Our next CEO will have a fantastic opportunity to build on Roisin’s legacy and to deliver our new strategy as we go through a period of seismic social change. As recent events have shown, our work at Kick It Out is more relevant than ever. We still have a long way to go to make football a game where everyone feels they belong.”