Premier League to launch revolutionary Coach Index scheme next month in a bid to pile pressure on clubs to increase diversity of their staff – with the database providing access to details of BAME coaches
- The Premier League will launch a Coach Index to increase diversity at clubs
- The revolutionary database will allow clubs to access the names and details of BAME coaches with at least a UEFA B Licence
- Coaches will also receive job alerts and opportunities such as networking events
The Premier League are to launch a ‘powerful’ directory of non-white and female elite coaches in a move that increases the pressure on clubs to comply with diversity targets.
Sportsmail can reveal top flight officials are leading what is being viewed as revolutionary plans to compile a comprehensive database of qualified coaches from underrepresented backgrounds in professional football with a view to the project going live next month.
The ‘Coach Index’ will be a one-stop online encyclopaedia of coaches from black, Asian and mixed heritage ethnicities, provided they are in are in possession of at least the UEFA B licence.
The Premier League will launch a revolutionary Coach Index to increase diversity at clubs
The self-registration catalogue is open to men and women coaches provided they meet the qualification criteria.
The new directory, which has been been developed in conjunction with English football’s key stakeholders including the Football Association, will allow professional clubs access to the coaches that fit the Index criteria. Each coach will be characterised by their qualifications and experience – but not their name to ensure total transparency during an application process.
Registered coaches will have the option to receive job alerts directly to their phones and development opportunities – such as forthcoming networking events – while it will also provide access to other careers platforms at the EFL and FA.
The imminent launch of the Coach Index comes a week after the FA released a mixed set of first year results of their historic Football Diversity Leadership Code.
Last year the governing body launched the pioneering document which aims to improve diversity and inclusion within the top jobs in English football.
As part of the Football Diversity Leadership Code, diversity targets were surpassed in the key categories of senior leadership positions and mens coaching roles – Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira pictured
Fifty-one clubs signed up as founder members of the code, with all 20 Premier League teams now committed – with all tasked with meeting stringent diversity targets at coaching and boardroom level.
Premier League and EFL clubs collectively failed to meet six out of the eight targets they were set, though the fact that a number of clubs had to cut staff due to the pandemic was a key mitigating factor.
However, in what was viewed as a significant victory, targets were surpassed in the key categories of senior leadership positions and mens coaching roles.
And the Premier League’s new database will provide clubs with assistance in meeting their staffing diversity pledges.
Former England B international Paul Elliott, who became Chelsea’s first black captain, believes the Premier League’s initiative is a positive step towards further inclusivity in the game.
Paul Elliott, who became Chelsea’s first black captain, has backed the Premier League scheme
‘This has the potential to be very powerful because clubs can go directly to coaches now, because one of the biggest challenges has always been accessing the pipeline of talent,’ explained Elliott, who led the development of the FA’s Diversity Code.
‘I was from that early 90s generation, which was the hardest. Because as black coaches we were the absolute minority.
‘I got my first opportunity via Glenn Hoddle, he was the Chelsea manager at the time and a great coach, and he gave me an opportunity to become a youth team coach at Chelsea.
‘But that was the only real opportunity I got because Glenn moved on to become England manger and I, like many others, tried to reach out to clubs and send in my applications but the landscape was never productive because it was always about who you knew, not what you knew.
‘This (the Coach Index) isn’t the total answer but it’s a really solid foundation, alongside the Diversity Code, in the ground. Clubs can’t say the pipeline isn’t there – there’s no excuses. You can’t say “I don’t know where to go”.
‘This will encourage coaches from ethnic minorities to go and get their coaching badges. It should mean there is an equal opportunity.’