EFL Clubs have made a further, major commitment to tackling the under-representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) managers and coaches in first team football by extending a pilot of a Voluntary Recruitment Code to all 72 Championship, League One and League Two Clubs. The recruitment code, trialled last season by ten clubs, commits all EFL Clubs to interview one or more BAME candidates in any instances in which they operate a recruitment process for a managerial or coaching position in first team football from 1 January 2018 to the end of the 2018/19 season. They will also retain the ability to appoint a specific individual without a recruitment process where required.
The operation of the pilot will be reviewed by the EFL Board at the end of the trial period to assess whether ‘positive action’ measures of this kind can help the game increase the number of BAME managers and coaches operating at First Team level. The EFL’s Voluntary Recruitment Code was trialled during 2016/17 by Accrington Stanley, Birmingham City, Carlisle United, Chesterfield, Fulham, Huddersfield Town, Millwall, Peterborough United, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers. The ten clubs operated a recruitment process for around a third of the roles for which they recruited, delivering interview opportunities for minority applicants along the way.
Meanwhile, the mandatory regulations introduced into Academy football from the start of 2016/17 as part of the same initiative, delivered interview opportunities to BAME applicants (with the relevant coaching qualifications) which resulted in them having a 52 per cent chance of being offered an interview compared to 18 per cent for all applicants. 11 BAME coaches were appointed to roles in club academies having been successful through the recruitment process.
Shaun Harvey, EFL Chief Executive, said: “I would like to acknowledge the commitment of EFL Clubs for agreeing to implement the extension of our important work in this area. By supporting the extension of our positive action measures, they are leading the way to address the under representation of BAME managers and coaches in professional football. We acknowledge that some would like to see us go further and move faster, but the priority, at this time, has to be to understand whether a Voluntary Recruitment Code of this type is capable of delivering the positive results that everyone in the game is seeking.
“Having operated such measures in both Academy and First Team football over a whole season, we believe that this approach has the potential to deliver the right outcomes if operated by all clubs over a period of time. Today’s decision provides us the opportunity to collate sufficient evidence to undertake a meaningful review. Once we have the necessary insight and evidence to assess the effectiveness of these arrangements, we will then be in a position to consider our next step on the journey of addressing this issue.”