Eniola Aluko wants increased BAME inclusion at the top level of sport

Eni aluko

Former England and Chelsea forward Eniola Aluko has called for targets to be set in order to ensure increased BAME inclusion at the highest level of football and other sports. 

PFA member Aluko, who is now Aston Villa Women’s sporting director, has told the BBC she believes 30% is a good representation target.

“There has to be something intentional about change. When you rely on self-regulation, people tend to fall back into a comfort zone and what they’ve always done.

“There’s a lot of recycling the same people in the game and if you do something like a target or a quota, you will start to see a recruitment behaviour change.”

"I think there has certainly been a lot of progress from when I started playing football 20-plus years ago. There was absolutely no-one I could look to in the game that looked like me, either as a woman or a black woman," she told the DCMS committee on Tuesday.

“Fast forward 20 years we are still seeing a glass ceiling to a certain extent.”

The PFA call for increased BAME representation at board level

There are a significant number of black professional footballers currently playing across English football. However, better representation is still needed off the pitch, both in coaching and managerial positions, but also at board level, across stakeholders and clubs. 

As sponsors of On The Board, the PFA have helped ensure more BAME candidates are qualified for board positions. Now is the time to see that greater diversity in board rooms.  All stakeholders will need to work together to make this happen, but we have outlined what we believe to be the necessary first steps: 

BAME representation on the EFL Recruitment Code steering group, by January 2021. If a steering group does not already exist, it should be established with BAME representation by the same date.

Substantive BAME representation at board level at The FA, EFL, LMA and Premier League, for the 2020/21 season.

The football industry must show leadership to ensure these essential changes are implemented. Only by working together to agree these terms, can the industry hold each other accountable for these commitments.