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English FA launches new code to increase diversity within the game


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The Football Association in England is aiming to increase diversity within the game with the launch of its Football Leadership Diversity Code.

The code sets out a diversity target of 15% for clubs when hiring new staff for executive positions while the target when hiring coaches at men's professional clubs is 25% and 10% for senior coaching jobs.

30% of executive positions at clubs must be female while 50% of vacancies at women's professional clubs must be female.

Manchester United are one of the 41 clubs to sign up to the code and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes it's a positive step.

"We want to be part of it and hopefully there'll be a change because my colour or race doesn't make me a worse or better coach. That's simple and common sense," said the Norwegian.

Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling has been one of the leading lights in speaking out over the lack of diversity in football and the head of the FA's inclusion advisory board, Paul Elliott, told Sky Sports News that he was inspired by Sterling's words.

"It's at the right time for football. I was motivated by Raheem Sterling when he said: 'When I look up, I don't see people that look like me'. That was a proper consideration in my mindset," said the former Chelsea and Celtic defender.

"Many people have been talking about the problem, but I think it's even harder to come up with a solution.

"Over the last 25 years in football, there has been much progress with a number of positive action programmes but there hasn't been a model or structure which holds football to account and creates opportunities that has been lacking over the last three generations.

"We can't reclaim that but what we can do is put a sustainable model in place.

"I genuinely believe, given the last eight months where there has been so much communication about institutional, structural and systemic racism and social inequity, that - with the Black Lives Matter - has really fuelled debate.

"What's been created here is the 21st century model for football to address the issues of underrepresentation and provide employment opportunities, via targets, that holds football to account."

The FA's targets include;

SENIOR LEADERSHIP AND TEAM OPERATIONS
• 15% of new hires will be Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage [or a target set by the club based on local demographics]
• 30% of new hires will be female

COACHING: MEN’S PROFESSIONAL CLUBS
• 25% of new hires will be Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage
• 10% of new senior coaching hires will be Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage

COACHING: WOMEN’S PROFESSIONAL CLUBS
• 50% of new hires will be female
• 15% of new hires will be Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage

RECRUITMENT
• Shortlists for interview will have at least one male and one female Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage candidate, if applicants meeting the job specifications apply.

Mark Bullingham, FA CEO, added; "Together we have created commitments that will drive real change across the game.

"The Code will hold clubs and our own organisation to account and ensure opportunities for everyone to work at all levels in football.

"We remain deeply committed to doing everything we can to address inequality in all its forms and to deliver a game free from discrimination. Today is a really positive step forward."


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England FA Football Association Mark Bullingham Paul Elliott Raheem Sterling

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