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Diversity In Sports Recruitment, Does More Need To Be Done?

By April 25, 2019 No Comments

There are many factors within a sport that hold an influence over the recruitment of top officials and leaders but gender, race or sexuality shouldn’t be one of them. Throughout the modern world, there is a shortage of equality not just in sport but society as well. Progress has been made towards equality in sport it has to be said. In all forms of sport, we can see so many different people in high positions. However, in recent months there has been an increase in the level of racist/sexist/homophobic abuse in sport but have the worlds sporting governing bodies done enough to combat it?


Within football, there is a distinct lack of BAME coaches and board members when compared to their white counterparts. According to Sporting Equals, only 4.1 per cent of senior football coaches employed during the 2016-17 season were BAME. And only 13% of the FA’s coaching staff, the same proportion of its staff in general, and 5% of people in leadership roles are from a black or minority ethnic background. Within the Premier League, the world’s most popular league, there is only one BAME manager in Chris Hughton at Brighton respectively. These stats alone show that more needs to be done to have a greater BAME representation within professional football and sports.

What will The FA do?


The FA has undertaken reform in order to create a much more diverse footballing landscape. By 2021 wants the number of BAME individuals to make up 20% of coaches and 11% of those in leadership roles. During this season it will undertake research “to pinpoint the barriers for qualified BAME coaches seeking employment in the professional game”.


The FA said “The FA also agrees that more needs to be done to develop BAME coaches, technical leaders and match officials. This is why The FA has a specific target in ‘In Pursuit of Progress’ to increase the number of BAME coaches in the England set-up from 13 per cent to 20 per cent.

“The principles of a voluntary Rooney Rule have been formally adopted by the England team set-up. This will ensure that at least one BAME candidate will be interviewed for every role as long as such a candidate has applied and meets the recruitment criteria.”

It’s certain that more needs to be done. With The FA and many more making progress the push for Equality grows stronger.


This discussion will be had further at our Recruitment In Sport event where we have panel sessions further discussing the topic. Our panellists include Jane Purdon (CEO @ Women in Football), Michele Gull (Head of HR @ West Ham) and Rachel Jones (Head of HR @ Everton).


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