Professional Footballers’ Association calls for greater transparency around diversity across football

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has called for greater transparency around diversity across football and described this as a “potentially transformative time” in the sport and society.

The issue of racism has been on the worldwide agenda in recent weeks, with a growth in support – including from leading footballers – for the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd in America last month.

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The PFA highlighted the issue of a lack of BAME representation in areas of the game beyond the pitch in a statement on Tuesday night, as Raheem Sterling called for the government to address the under-representation of black people in Parliament and on the boards of sporting organisations.

In a statement, the PFA, which has joined the social media initiative #pullupforchange, released its own diversity statistics in relation to black representation within the union.

Their figures show that 43% per cent of the Charity Trustees are from the black population but only seven per cent of the PFA Management Committee is represented by black people.

Football can challenge systemic racism by being transparent about the diversity within our organisations.

The PFA’s diversity is generally reflective of our membership. However, there are areas where we still need to improve.

While players such as Garth Crooks, Chris Powell, Clarke Carlisle, Jason Roberts and Darren Moore have previously chaired or sat on our Management Committee, the current cohort is not as diverse as it should be to reflect our membership.

“We want all football organisations to demonstrate a clear commitment to ensuring the representation of black players extends beyond the pitch, into coaching, management and at board level,” said PFA head of equalities, Simone Pound.

“The football industry can only move forward collectively when we have shared data about how things currently stand. Being transparent allows the industry to be held accountable and is a starting place for meaningful change.”

The PFA also urged on the game’s stakeholders to commit to recording the ethnicity of all players and coaches “so the game can be held accountable”.

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