Achieving racial equality in football has always been a priority at the PFA. While on-pitch representation continues to flourish, there is still a stark lack of diversity throughout non-playing roles within football, especially at the highest level.
To address this issue, in 2013 the PFA launched On The Board – a training initiative developed by the Governance Forum to make football’s boardrooms more diverse. The annual programme trains current and former professional footballers to become effective board members. Participants improve their understanding of boards and spend six months learning about governance frameworks, governance codes, board behaviour and reviewing board performance.
The beneﬁts of creating diverse boards are well established. Over the last eight years, there have been over 90 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic graduates from the programme. More than 50 of these graduates have been appointed to governance roles, including six as Chair, two as Vice-Chair and one as President.
The programme has created a wide pool of diverse candidates that are qualified and prepared to bring valuable insight and perspective to boardrooms both inside and outside football. Coupled with other PFA-supported initiatives, such as the FA Diversity Code and Rooney Rule, On The Board remains an essential part of football’s commitment to true off-pitch representation.