Gender equality in English football is in its “dark ages” and is contributing to the sport’s financial failure, according to a new report.
The study, titled ‘Gender divide makes football fail: A commercial case for gender equality’ found that two-thirds of England and Wales’ top clubs have all-male boards.
The report, published on International Women’s Day by the Fair Game group, which includes 34 clubs across the pyramid, found clubs to be “extremely naive” when it comes to catering and marketing. for female fans, and they’re falling short as a result of making significant sales.
The report found just 11.1% of board members at Premier League clubs were women, down to just 4.2% in the Championship. This compares with 39.1% on the boards of 100 FTSE firms.
In November, the Football Association reported that clubs and governing bodies that signed on to the Football Leadership Diversity Code (FLDC) had failed to meet any of their recruitment targets set out in relation to the club. related to women during the first 10 months of the program.
The FLDC goals related to recruiting women in senior leadership roles, team operations and women’s club coaching roles were all missed.
The set of rules was launched in October 2020, with the stated aim of ensuring elite game diversity better reflects the diversity of the country as a whole.
By the time the first year report was published, the Code had more than 50 signatories on the elite English game, but overall, they were falling short of their goal of making 30% of new hires in positions. senior leadership positions are female – in general, this number is increasing. by the end of August 2021 it was 20.8% and only 19.8% among the clubs.
Other studies cited in the Fair Game report have shown that board diversity is a key factor in good decision making and the financial success of organizations and diversity. Gender diversity on the board is associated with better financial performance.
A report from Fair Game published last week found that 52 per cent of clubs filing their financial statements for 2020 were technically insolvent.
Dr Stacey Pope, co-author of the report and Associate Professor at Durham University, added: “We’ve looked at all aspects of how football operates at the moment and in large numbers. cases where clubs are living in dark times and are failing to adequately satisfy 51% of the population.”
According to estimates from the league itself in a 2016 review, 26% of fans at Premier League matches are women, but a survey from Scottish football found that 26% of women attend matches. experienced sexist comments while there.
“Public attitudes towards sexism and vanity are changing, and football needs to change as well,” Dr. Pope added.
“Clubs need to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all women.
“Economically, the current football situation is also downright naive. Such an outdated stance makes achieving the Holy Grail of financial sustainability all the more difficult to achieve and all the more reason to change. .”
The report says football is ignoring women’s right to spend.
A report by Fanbase Economics shows that in the United States, 80% of sportswear purchases are made by women.
The Fair Game report urges clubs to make stadia and game day environments inclusive, with child-friendly spaces, and mechanisms to report cases of sexism and sexual relations misleading, and let these reports be taken seriously and the perpetrators of such acts abused to face the consequences.
Fair Game director Niall Couper said: “Football becoming more sexist is not only morally and socially correct – it’s also commercially beneficial.”
Fair Game fully supports the recommendations of the fan-led review, published last November. One of the organization’s recommendations is that equality, diversity and inclusion “should form a solid pillar of good corporate governance. It should be seen as a central part of any business plan.” any organization rather than as a supplement”.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/english-football-clubs-ignoring-the-spending-power-of-women-report-41422423.html English football clubs ‘ignore women’s spending rights’ – report