The EFL wishes to correct comments made in the Sports People's Think Tank report published today, relating to Wolverhampton Wanderers application of the voluntary recruitment code in first team football relating to BAME managers and coaches.
Contrary to claims made in the report, Wolves notified the EFL following the recent appointment of Paul Lambert as manager to confirm that the club had complied fully with the code by interviewing at least one BAME candidate during the recruitment process.
After the previous appointment of Walter Zenga, during the close season, the EFL contacted the club to seek a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding that appointment. In its response, the club pointed to the exceptional circumstances of the club being subject to a change of control with the new owners wanting to appoint a specific manager as part of their plans for the takeover of the club. This has since been explained to other stakeholder organisations including the FA, PFA and LMA.
The EFL reminded the club of the commitment it had made and sought assurances that it remained committed to the code going forward. These were received and clearly put into action during Wolves' subsequent managerial appointment process.
The aim of the voluntary code, which is being piloted by 10 clubs ahead of further consideration of the issue by all EFL clubs, is to provide useful learnings about the application of positive action recruitment measures in real life scenarios so that any eventual regulations in this area can be as effective as possible in reducing the under-representation of BAME managers and coaches. Both of the above cases will aid this debate and help influence the approach that is ultimately considered by clubs.
The EFL continues to monitor the application of the voluntary recruitment code at the 10 pilot clubs and will assess its impact at the end of the current season. In addition, new mandatory requirements relating to the appointment of coaches to roles in club academies that require clubs to advertise positions publicly and interview at least one BAME coach are now in place.
The EFL is disappointed by the material inaccuracy in the report that casts a doubt over the integrity of both the EFL and our clubs, who we believe are at the forefront of trying to address the under representation of BAME managers and coaches in professional football. There has been no contact from the Sports People’s Think Tank seeking clarification of the above matters or any other matters included in the report ahead of its publication.