Crystal Palace have signed the Football Association’s new Football Leadership Diversity Code, pledging to promote diversity and equality of opportunity throughout the club.
As a signatory of the code, which launches today, the club has made five key commitments:
• Our organisation will champion diversity across both ethnicity and gender.
• Our coaching staff should reflect the professional playing base of diversity.
• Our senior leadership and team operations’ diversity should match the local population’s diversity.
• Our recruitment will be based on merit whilst ensuring a diverse pool of candidates.
• Our club will have an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion plan with targets, reporting annually and supported by data collection.
The leadership code has been developed in collaboration with club executives, players, coaches, HR directors, media and leaders across the game, to ensure English football better represents our modern and diverse society. It will increase accountability and transparency, focusing on increasing equality of opportunity when hiring to encourage recruitment from across society, and based on merit, rather than personal networks.
Steve Parish, Crystal Palace Chairman, said: “We are delighted to be amongst the first clubs to adopt the FA’s new code. Crystal Palace are committed to providing opportunities and promoting talent throughout the organisation, regardless of ethnicity or gender. We want the club to reflect the rich diversity of south London, both on and off the pitch, providing role models across the business and inspiring young people, in particular, to believe every pathway is possible for their future”.
Paul Elliott, Chair of The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, said: "Many clubs are already doing good work in this area and we have been pleased to see football stand together this year to challenge the injustice we are seeing in society. However, positive and tangible action is required to drive change and take the next step. We believe the introduction of the Football Leadership Diversity Code will signal a long-term change for the English game. The number and stature of clubs that have already agreed to join us on this journey proves that together, with clear goals, transparency and a desire for action, we can shape a better future together. We hope more clubs join us as we move forward."
By signing up to the Football Leadership Diversity Code, clubs pledge to create an equality, diversity and inclusion plan which applies hiring targets while adopting specific recruitment principles. The targets, which will become effective immediately, 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
• 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.