I am contemplating buying a coffee advent calendar, but this is extremely random information.
Ramble of the Day
The FA recently came out with a Football Leadership Diversity Code, which all Premier League clubs minus Southampton have agreed to follow. Here is the key criteria, per The Guardian:
The key criteria of the code relates to recruitment. The code requires that 15% of new hires in senior leadership roles will be black, Asian or of mixed heritage, while 30% of hires will be female. In coaching, at men’s professional clubs, 25% of hires should be black, Asian or of mixed heritage, with that figure dropping to 10% in “senior coaching hires”.
From the reading, reporting, and research I’ve done, leadership tends to be a top area of improvement across football organizations. Leadership groups in this sport (and frequently outside of it) are usually made up of a homogenous set of very privileged people who have ignored their privilege, either intentionally or unintentionally. It results in a limited talent pool, and we’ve clearly seen that — The Guardian piece notes that there are only five Black managers across the 92 professional men’s teams in England.
Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings spoke about the new initiative from the FA, both as a Black footballer and someone who aspires to be on boardrooms after his playing career (again, from The Guardian):
Do I think the code will make a difference? Yes, I do. There will be some scepticism. It’s probably a lot easier to sign up and not have to ask difficult questions than it is to not sign up and be out on your own. Some people will rightly feel that this won’t move the needle enough in terms of the problems we’ve faced historically but for me and for my ambitions post-football I can see how it will be useful. It’s not the finished article but what it will do is change things for the better.
I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this code, of course after a relatively long period of time. What I like about this initiative, though, is that it is intended to expand the talent pool, which has to be a priority, but this will require genuine enforcement.
Links of the Day
FIFA president Gianni Infantino tested positive for COVID-19.
Arsenal’s Mesut Özil will provide free meals for North London schoolchildren for the remainder of the week.
Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo was accused of breaking coronavirus protocol in Italy by the country’s sports minister.
David Squires covers Marcus Rashford’s commitment to ending child food poverty and the hypocritical arguments of those against him in his latest cartoon.
A longer read: Metodi Shumanov interviews Dimitar Berbatov on being uniquely himself in English football and his autobiography, My Way, for The Guardian