At their 2016 AGM, EFL clubs have approved proposals aimed at tackling the under-representation of coaches and managers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. The new measures, which will take immediate effect, include the introduction of mandatory new recruitment practices for coaching positions in Academy football and a Voluntary Recruitment Code in first team football, which will be piloted by at least 10 clubs during 2016/17.
Having given 'in principle' support to the introduction of positive action measures aimed at promoting diversity in coaching positions 12 months ago, clubs have now formally endorsed a set of proposals finalised during the 2015/16 season by a working party of clubs, led by their departing Chairman, Greg Clarke.
In welcoming the support of clubs for the proposals, Greg Clarke said: "It is absolutely essential that EFL clubs continue to reflect the communities in which they are based. This includes ensuring that recruitment practices are open and transparent with appointments being made on the basis of merit alone.
“It is clear to us that we currently have an under-representation of BAME managers and coaches at club level and it is therefore the right time to take proportionate action to ensure the best talent, from all backgrounds, is given a fair opportunity to enter and progress through the system.
"I believe this is an important moment for sport in this country and I'm very proud that it is our clubs that are leading the way. They have done the right thing and deserve considerable credit.
"I would like to offer my thanks to all those who have contributed to our work including the NFL, whose Rooney Rule provided the inspiration, as well as EFL clubs, the FA, the Premier League, LMA, PFA, the Sports Peoples' Think Tank and Kick It Out, whose chairman, Lord Ouseley, provided sound advice throughout."
Mandatory Requirements at Academy level
Under EFL regulations:
• Clubs will be required to advertise any position within the club’s Academy that requires the individual to hold a UEFA A or UEFA B coaching badge on the club’s website and the EFL website for a minimum of 7 days.
• Clubs must include at least one suitably qualified BAME candidate (where an application has been received) on the interview shortlist for that position.
• Clubs must appoint the successful candidate on the basis of merit alone.
• Clubs must provide details of the recruitment process to the EFL, including the number of BAME applicants and the number of BAME candidates interviewed.
• Clubs will be permitted to fill a position by promoting an internal candidate (from a position requiring a UEFA A or B coaching badge only) without applying the above process. However, the position vacated by that individual must be filled in accordance with the new regulations.
Voluntary Recruitment Code in First Team Football
• During the season, clubs will be expected to interview one or more BAME candidate for any First Team managerial/coaching role (where an application has been received) in instances where they run a full recruitment process.
• During the close season, clubs will be expected to run a full recruitment process for any First Team managerial/coaching role during which they must interview one or more BAME candidates (where an application has been received).
Clubs piloting the Voluntary Recruitment Code during 2016/17:
Championship: Birmingham City, Fulham, Huddersfield Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers
League One: Chesterfield, Coventry City, Millwall and Peterborough United
League Two: Accrington Stanley and Carlisle United
Additionally, the EFL AGM saw clubs approve all of the regulation changes tabled, including:
Board & Governance
Clubs ratified the appointment of Ian Lenagan as the new Chairman of the EFL with immediate effect, as well as the re-appointment of Independent Director, Richard Bowker.
Clubs also approved a series of proposals aimed at ensuring that the EFL meets the highest standards of Corporate Governance including:
• The chairman, independent directors and six club representatives on the EFL Board will be limited to a maximum of two consecutive terms of three years.
• The EFL’s two representatives on the FA Board will include one EFL Director nominated by Championship clubs and one EFL Director nominated by League One/League Two clubs.
• Club representatives on the FA Council will be limited to serving no more than six consecutive terms (of one year).
Following FIFA’s withdrawal of consent for the EFL’s ‘emergency loan’ system, clubs have agreed to a number of measures aimed at easing the transition to the revised arrangements, including:
• A player registered on a standard loan may continue to play non-first team football for his parent club during the term of his loan period.
• Clubs will be permitted to sign a goalkeeper on a seven day ‘emergency loan’ basis if they do not have a senior goalkeeper that has made 5 starting appearances in first team football.
• Clubs will be able to recall a goalkeeper at 24 hours’ notice from a loan period at another club if they are unable to field two fit goalkeepers in their 18 man matchday squad.
From 2016/17 clubs will be required to hold at least two meetings/fans forums with a representative group of the club’s supporters, putting into practice commitments made by the EFL as part of the Government’s Expert Working Group on Supporter Ownership and Engagement which made a series of recommendations earlier in 2016.
Clubs Defaulting on Transfer Payments
EFL regulations relating to transfer payments have been amended to permit the application of a transfer embargo to a club that defaults on sums owed to clubs outside the EFL or Premier League.