No Room For Racism

How the Premier League continues to fight racism

5 Apr 2024
No Room For Racism - Luton Town

See how the Premier League has been tackling discrimination as well as promoting equality, diversity and inclusion as part of its three-year update

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The Premier League continues to fight racism, working alongside its clubs and with other football partners such as The FAEFLLeague Managers AssociationProfessional Footballers’ Association – as well as its longstanding partners Kick It OutStonewall, the Football Supporters’ Association and Level Playing Field.

The Premier League has announced a three-year progress update as part of the No Room For Racism Action Plan. The plan is built around six pillars which increase diversity across the game and reinforce the League’s commitment to tackling discrimination and supporting those who are subjected to racist abuse.

"We are pleased that progress continues to be made against the targets we set three years ago when we launched the No Room For Racism Action Plan. We know more can be done, so both the League and our clubs will continue to prioritise this work as we look to create meaningful change."

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters

Action against racism 

- The Premier League’s dedicated team has investigated more than 2,500 cases of online discriminatory abuse targeted at players and others within the game since 2020.
- The League also provides mental and emotional wellbeing support for players who have suffered discriminatory abuse.
- A combination of platform filtering, monitoring activities and real-world sanctions has helped drive down the number of reports received from players. In recent years, there has been a reduction in reports from 50-100 direct messages being reported per month to less than 70 throughout the current season. 
- The online reporting system has been expanded and made available to fans, so they can directly use a "click to report" link on club websites and the Premier League website, enabling them to easily report discriminatory abuse they see directed at players, managers or officials.


- Proactive work with social media companies continues to remove abuse and investigate cases for further action.  
- The matchday observer programme was piloted during the 2022/2023 season and expanded at the start of 2023/24 to monitor fan behaviour within stadiums at each of the 380 Premier League fixtures. This ensures a detailed report of supporter-related incidents, including discriminatory abuse, is submitted from all matches.

Executive pathways 

- The Premier League set medium and long-term targets to increase the diversity of its own workforce. The target of 18 per cent for 2026 has been surpassed and the target for 2031 is 30 per cent. 
- The percentage of Premier League staff from ethnically diverse backgrounds has risen to 19.3 per cent (from 12 per cent in 2021) and two Board members are from ethnically diverse backgrounds (40 per cent of Board). 
- The League continues to commit to diversifying the workforce across the game through initiatives such as the Player to Executive Pathways Scheme (pilot evaluation underway) and through the Premier League Futures initiative and our Work Placement Programme. 

Coaching pathways 

- Of 63 coaches to have progressed through our inclusive coaching programmes, 56 (88 per cent) are in full-time employment with clubs. 
- The Professional Player to Coach Scheme (PPCS) is a joint programme between the Premier League, EFL and PFA. It supports former players from black and ethnically diverse backgrounds, as well as women, with an ambition to coach with employment and training opportunities at Premier League and EFL clubs. All 25 coaches who have been supported through PPCS are employed as a coach in English professional football.  

- The Coach Inclusion and Diversity Scheme (CIDS) supports coaches from black, South Asian and mixed-heritage backgrounds, as well as women, by providing employment and training opportunities within Premier League and Category One Academies. Of the 38 coaches who have been supported through the Coach Inclusion and Diversity Scheme (CIDS), 31 are employed in men’s English football, plus one in the Women's Super League and two more overseas.

- 45 clubs across the Premier League and EFL have engaged with either PPCS or CIDS. 
- 361 coaches are registered to the Coach Index (a self-registration system for coaches from underrepresented groups), with 72 clubs signed up to use the platform when recruiting. 

Player and match official pathways/education 

- 73 FA Girls' Emerging Talent Centres, funded by the Premier League, are now established – with an aim of diversifying the women and girls' talent pathway through inclusive principles and better accessibility for more than 5,000 girls. 

- 1,344 boys and girls engaged in South Asian Action Plan (SAAP) qualifiers run by six Premier League clubs. A total of 24 teams and 200 players took part in the SAAP Emerging Talent Festival. 
- Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) training has been delivered to Academy players as part of the Games Programme, with 30 Premier League and Category 1 Academies engaged in the No Room For Racism Allyship workshop.  
- The Elite Referee Development Plan launched in 2022, with one of the aims being to increase diverse representation of match officials and engage with diverse communities to inspire the next generation. 
- Sam Allison became the Premier League's first black referee since 2008, when he officiated Sheffield United v Luton Town on Boxing Day 2023.

- Sunny Singh Gill was the first British South Asian to referee a Premier League game, for the Crystal Palace v Luton match on 9 March 2024. Last season Sunny’s brother, Bhupinder, became the first Sikh-Punjabi assistant referee in the Premier League.  
- Rebecca Welch became the first woman to referee a Premier League match when she officiated Fulham v Burnley on 23 December 2023. 

Supporting communities 

- Over 44,000 participants (38 per cent) on the Premier League Kicks programme were from ethnically diverse communities last year. 

- More than 15,000 teachers in primary schools across England and Wales have delivered No Room For Racism education resources, benefiting over 457,350 young people.  
- The number of clubs involved in the Premier League Charitable Fund’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion network has grown from 40 to 96. 

Embedding equality 

- 26 Premier League and former Premier League clubs are now involved in the independently assessed Premier League Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Standard (PLEDIS), with 17 at advanced level. The Premier League is also beginning its own assessment this year to ensure it is measured independently against the same standards as clubs.

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