Manchester United commit to diversity targets

Tuesday 27 October 2020 15:00

Manchester United has today pledged its support of, and commitment to, the FA’s Football Leadership Diversity Code (FLDC).

The FLDC, launched today, is a set of voluntary principles and targets, which will diversify leadership and coaching teams across English football. It focuses on the future recruitment of senior leadership, coaches and backroom staff. By signing the pledge, Manchester United will aim to achieve the following targets, with a relevant report published annually:

1. Senior leadership and backroom staff: At least 15% of our new hires will be Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage and at least 30% of our new hires will be female.
2. Coaching (women’s teams): At least 50% of new hires will be female and at least 15% of our new hires will be Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage.
3. Coaching (men’s teams): At least 25% of our new hires will be Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage and at least 10% of our new senior coaching hires will be Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage.

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Richard Arnold, Group Managing Director, Manchester United, said: “I want to restate our promise as a club to champion diversity and to promote equality for all.

“Manchester United has been and will always be a club open for all. We are very proud of all the efforts that we have made across the club over many years to campaign for equality in football and society and to diversify our workforce. Our most recent initiative, All Red All Equal commenced in 2016 and through that, we have challenged hate crime and discrimination, raised awareness of mental health issues and promoted the empowerment of women amongst many other initiatives.

“However, there is always more for us to learn and to do in this area. We welcome the work of the FA to support the good work that has already been done and to challenge us to raise the bar even higher.

“We had no hesitation in signing up to the Football Leadership Diversity Code. We now look forward to implementing a plan that will be adopted and embraced throughout every department of the club.”

Within the club’s current diversity and inclusion strategy, an important development has been the introduction of a range of employee inclusion networks. The networks, based around key strands of equality, meet regularly to drive forward related initiatives and create further progress on diversity across the club.

Arnold continued, emphasising how the introduction of the code will support the work and the plans that the club already have in place: “While this is a topic that is rightly moving to the forefront of conversations in boardrooms across every industry, we are proud that we have been leading, and executing, in this area within our organisation over many years. We have seen the benefits of having a diverse, talented senior leadership team at the club. By having our people coming from a variety of backgrounds, we will be able to continue to innovate, adapt, raise standards and uphold our reputation in the industry.”

Arnold concluded by highlighting the importance of the principles of diversity and inclusion to cement the popularity of the club and of the game as a whole. “The message is clear. Manchester United is a club that is open to all. This national effort will enable the game to make a huge leap forward, reinforcing football’s popularity for the next generation of fans, coaches, players, staff and volunteers.”

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer commented at his press conference ahead of the Champions League tie with RB Leipzig on Wednesday night: “We’ve signed up [to it]. Of course, there have been so many disappointing incidents lately, both on and off the pitch.

“We want to be a part of it and hopefully there will be a change because my colour or race doesn’t make me a better or worse coach. That’s simple and common sense."