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Game changer or empty promise? The EFL mandatory code of coach recruitment in men’s professional football youth academies in England
chapterposted on 15.06.2020, 10:25 by Dom Conricode, Steven Bradbury
This chapter will examine the shape, scope and effectiveness of the English Football League’s (EFL) mandatory code of coach recruitment: a positive action scheme designed to address the under-representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) coaches in men’s professional football youth academies. In doing so, the chapter will draw on an online survey of club academy managers (n=23) and qualitative interviews with academy managers, BAME coaches and key stakeholders in the professional game (n=35). Firstly, the chapter will examine the operational implementation of the code and the measurable impact it has had in ensuring greater racial equitability in the coach recruitment process. Secondly, the chapter will examine the attitudinal implementation of the code and the ways in which the ‘race-conscious’ or ‘race-neutral’ attitudinal approaches of senior decision-making personnel has enabled or constrained the operational implementation and effectiveness of the code in academy settings. The chapter will conclude by drawing on Critical Race Theory (CRT) to argue that racial equality measures of this kind should be strongly interventionist and transformational in their intentions and scope, and should challenge and disrupt dominant discourses of objectivity, meritocracy and colour-blind ideologies and the normative power of Whiteness in sports coaching contexts.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences