Football Leadership Diversity Code One Year Progress Report

The One Year Progress Report of the Football Leadership Diversity Code, which launched in October 2020 and which Cambridge United is a signatory of, has now been published...

The FLDC has over 50 signatories across the top tiers of the men’s and women’s game, which as of October 2021, includes all Premier League clubs, as well as The FA, Premier League, EFL, and seven recruitment partners.

The FA will report on progress annually, with the key highlights and data from signatories in the reporting period of 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021 outlined below.

While the Code launched during the global pandemic, which led to significantly suppressed recruitment across the game, the collective football results show the focus on recruitment has provided a good foundation to be built on in future. Over the 2020-21 season, football collectively exceeded diversity targets in hiring senior leadership and men’s club senior coaches, while making progress against the targets in other areas.

The full report, including updates from signatory clubs and organisations, can be found here.

Recognising that clubs are at different parts of their journey with ranging capabilities, data systems and resources, and to help drive immediate change, the Code specifically focuses on recruitment data rather than overall representation data.

Each club had the opportunity to present supporting comments alongside its results and those of Cambridge United can be found below:

Cambridge United is committed to reaching its FLDC targets, which forms part of the club’s wider commitment to EDI. It is a firm focus of the club, starting at the very top. We have created a sub-group of the Board to consider how we can improve on all aspects of our plans to further improve our efforts in relation to ED & I.

The club has successfully recruited under the PL and EFL Player to Coach Scheme and both the club and Community Trust are doing more than ever to reach all parts of our community and to show leadership in this area.

We have implemented a plan to collect equality data for recruitment which will enable us to identify any areas of under-representation or potential inequalities.

The 2021/22 EFL Code of Practice Final Assessment Report states that the club’s submission showed “honest and constructive self-assessment, leadership, organisation and commitment to complete as much evidence as reasonably possible, at a time whereby the club faced many additional operational challenges.

“Evidence presented by the club is above the minimum requirement and strong in terms of quality, relevance and reflective of collaborative working.”

We have found the process of working with the FLDC team really constructive and helpful. We look forward to working with them again this year.

Cambridge United's public commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion can be found here

To support the Code, The FA also launched a central careers platform in early 2021 to create greater transparency of roles available across English football, and to help organisations and clubs reach a larger and more diverse audience of candidates. All signatories of the Code can advertise vacancies on the platform and since its launch, 900 vacancies have been posted, with over 4,600 applications.

Of these, 39% of performance role applicants were from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background, while 71% of signatories say it has improved the diversity of applicants. The FA continues to proactively encourage individuals who want a role within football to register their profile on the platform for alerts and to search for roles relevant to them on an ongoing basis.

Edleen John, The FA’s Director of International Relations, Corporate Affairs and Co-partner for EDI, said: "The commitment shown towards the Football Leadership Diversity Code shows that there is a strong, collective desire to create long-term change and ensure the representation we see on the pitch is reflected off it.

"We believe that with clear commitments and transparency, we can shape a better future for English football. We acknowledge that some signatories are new to collecting this type of data, so we must recognise that this is a first step to implementing diversity-focused recruitment targets and driving collective change.

"This is a positive start in incredibly challenging circumstances and while the progress is promising, it must improve further. Each signatory can play their part and that’s why coming together in this way is powerful.

"While everybody is coming from a different starting point, we can all impact recruitment immediately. We continue to encourage more clubs to sign up to the Code and collectively we will support each other on this important journey. The Code is a first-of-its-kind for our industry and this positive action will ensure we drive meaningful change and tackle inequality at all levels of our game, ensuring opportunities are truly inclusive for all."

More information on the Football Leadership Diversity Code can be found here.