The EFL are delighted to confirm that 30 clubs have been awarded the EFL Code of Practice.This is in recognition of the clubs’ success in providing an environment that is inclusive for all employees and supporters alike.
First piloted in the 2014/15 season, the EFL’s Code of Practice represents a nationwide commitment by football clubs to improve equality and inclusion across all areas of the game. In just two years since its introduction, 30 EFL clubs, including Preston North End, passed the nationally-recognised assessment.
The EFL works closely with clubs to ensure that all spectators attending games can enjoy their matchday experience in a safe and friendly environment and clubs across all three EFL divisions have been working hard to set high standards for equality in professional football.
Clubs are evaluated across all areas, including matchday operations, general operations, community trust, youth development, attending matchday fans, and the first team. Each club successfully passed an independent assessment across 12 different areas of operation, ensuring good practice extends to all employees, spectators and other people engaged with the club.
The EFL Code of Practice was devised as part of the game’s commitment to the English Football Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan. It helps clubs to position themselves at the heart of each community by embedding the fundamental principles of inclusion and equality throughout the whole of the business, setting accountability at the highest level.
Preston North End CEO John Kay said: “We were very thankful of the support we received from the EFL in terms of what we had to achieve. We were left with no doubt that we had to achieve a pretty high standard to seal approval.
"The first half of last year, we put in an enormous amount of effort and we are very pleased with the outcome.
"I introduced workshops and representatives from Kick it Out delivered those workshops. Effectively they were discussions about the principles at Preston North End which are good business practice and equality to act as the law.
"As individuals on a day-to-day basis we all need reminding what the laws are and in fact it was very beneficial.
"We held the sessions together, so the players attended alongside the office staff for example.
"We looked at disability access and that is one of the key things we want to be doing. We have got to keep the standards high moving forward.
"Our target has always been to run a successful football club that is a strong part of the community.
"The Code of Practice is important and it makes sense. We are in the front line and football clubs have thousands of supporters gathered in one place who are not all showing tolerance to one another.
"It is important that everyone knows what the rules are. I am pleased we have received recognition. Hopefully more and more football clubs will go through this process."
Shaun Harvey, EFL CEO, added: “It’s important that clubs recognise and understand equality and inclusion and implement the right practices to ensure that the game in this country continues to be a game for all.
“The EFL Code of Practice supports clubs by ensuring their policies and procedures are up to date and fully compliant and I am delighted to see so many of our clubs making real tangible progress in these areas.
“We will continue to raise awareness of the measures that can be taken and I am hopeful more and more football clubs will go through this process.”