Tyrone Mings: Aston Villa defender welcomes Football Leadership Diversity Code

A new code that requires football clubs to meet diversity targets in recruitment is "another step in the right direction", says Aston Villa and England defender Tyrone Mings.

The Football Leadership Diversity Code, which was devised by the Football Association, aims to tackle racial inequality in the English game.

It also hopes to increase the number of female coaches in women's football.

"It is another way that we can try and drive change," said Mings, 27.

Speaking to Football Focus, he added: "I was fortunate to be asked by the FA to be involved and I feel quite proud that I could lend my voice to the conversation, to try and give my input as a current player, as someone who may go into the boardroom in the future and try and develop those pathways now for what future generations will benefit from."

More than 40 clubs have signed up to the code, including sides from the EFL, Women's Super League and Women's Championship.

In doing so, they agree that:

  • 15% of new executive appointments will be from a BAME background, with 30% female.
  • 25% of new coaching appointments will be BAME and 10% of senior coaching appointments.
  • 50% of new coaching appointments at women's football clubs will be female, with 15% BAME.
  • Shortlists for interview will have at least one male and one female BAME candidate, provided applicants meeting the job specifications apply

At present, only five of the 92 Premier League and English Football League (EFL) managers or head coaches are BAME.

Nineteen of the 20 Premier League clubs have agreed to the voluntary code, with Southampton the only exception.

The Saints said they were "wholly supportive" of the objectives but were waiting to see how it fitted in with the Premier League's Advanced Equality Standard before revising their recruitment processes, which they said were the culmination of a "five-year equality and diversity journey".

Mings said: "The take-up of clubs who have come on board has been incredible as a starting point.

"I think it is important to realise that it's not something that is going to change overnight, but if people are more aware of it then hopefully more opportunities will be more forthcoming in the future."

The code was developed over a five-month consultation period, with Paul Elliott - head of the FA's inclusion advisory board - speaking to a number of leading players, including Mings, Harry Kane and Lucy Bronze, to ensure it is as diverse and inclusive as possible.

"The longer we continue as players to drive and spread that message then I think it's something that people can't hide from or brush under the carpet," Mings added.

"I am confident that things are changing, but it's such a long process that there's no real overnight fix, it's just something we have to keep working on."

Watch the full interview with Tyrone Mings on Football Focus on BBC One on Saturday at 12:00 GMT.

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