A review of rules governing sports boards ordered following a Telegraph Sport investigation into the lack of black leaders in the sector will be launched this week, it can be revealed.
Grass-roots funding body Sport England was close to announcing details of a review of the country’s Code for Sports Governance on Monday night after the Government promised one in the wake of the shocking findings.
The Telegraph revealed how just three per cent of directors of taxpayer-funded sports organisations were black and that no Premier League club and virtually no English Football League club had a black owner, chairman or chief executive.
The findings led to calls from campaigners for the industry to be set a 20 per cent ethnicity target, as well as prompting MPs to investigate the exclusion of black people from sport’s corridors of power.
The Digital, Culture, Media & Sport select committee will hold a one-off session on widening access to sport on Tuesday morning, after which it could make recommendations to the upcoming review.
Among the witnesses will be Eniola Aluko, who gave explosive evidence to the committee almost three years ago about how she was racially abused by England Women manager Mark Sampson and how the Football Association had failed to investigate it properly.
The former Chelsea striker was appointed Aston Villa’s first-ever sporting director for women’s football in January after announcing her retirement, becoming one of the few black women in a senior position in the English game.
She will be joined on Tuesday by Paul Cleal, a black board member of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Kingston University and the National Citizen Service Trust.
The Telegraph’s investigation followed Raheem Sterling calling out the lack of black leaders in football in the wake of the alleged murder in the United States of George Floyd and prompted demands for the entire industry to be forced to diversify its boardrooms.
The existing Code for Sports Governance, published in 2015, mandated funded sports organisations to ensure at least 30 per cent of their directors were women but controversially did not set targets for BAME representation.
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston, who announced the review, last month admitted British sport was “woefully behind” on Black And Minority Ethnic representation in leadership roles.