FA ask firm to lead search for a new anti-discrimination director

The FA ask diversity recruitment firm to lead their search for a new anti-discrimination director… with the urgency to fill the role sharpened by the criticism of a panel finding John Yems was ‘not a conscious racist’

  • The FA have been without a full-time equalities director since the summer
  • The recruitment process is started in October and interviews have begun
  • FA are facing a backlash after an independent panel’s verdict on John Yems
  • The governing body disagreed with the panel and wanted a longer ban 

The Football Association have asked diversity recruitment specialists Perrett Laver to lead their search for a new anti-discrimination figurehead, a role which remains unfilled six months after the position was vacated.

Sportsmail can reveal the FA are using the London-based firm to help them identify their next director of equality, diversity and inclusion – a crucial position within the organisation’s senior management team.

News of Perrett Laver’s involvement in the process of finding the person effectively in charge of the governing body’s fight for equality in English football comes amid a major backlash against the findings of their own independent panel that ruled disgraced former Crawley Town boss John Yems is not a ‘conscious racist’ despite a report concluding he was guilty of making a flurry of discriminatory remarks to players.

Edleen John (pictured) previously held the role before she left amid an internal investigation over allegations that she had bullied her colleagues

John (centre) was accused of shouting and using aggressive tactics in the original complaint

The FA have been without a full-time equalities director since the summer following the departure of Edleen John.

But six months down the line, the FA are still to fill the vacancy with no appointment understood to be imminent.

The recruitment process is said to have started in October and interviewing for the vacancy has begun.

News of Perrett Laver’s involvement comes amid a backlash against an FA independent panel for its verdict on John Yems

However, despite the obvious importance of the position, the FA are still to fill the role, though they are said to be making good progressing in sourcing candidates.

Nevertheless, it is understood the role is likely to remain vacant for the foreseeable future and in the meantime the organisation’s current equality, diversity and inclusion team, led by human resources director Rachel Brace, are continuing the FA’s work in the area.

The urgency to fill the EDI director’s role will be sharpened following huge criticism of the FA after the written reasons of Yems’ 18 month suspension from football were made public.

Controversially, the independent panel ruled in a report that Yems is not a ‘conscious racist’ despite concluding he used disgusting discriminatory language towards his players.

Incredibly, the FA oppose the findings of their own independent panel.

The anti-discrimination figurehead is effectively in charge of the governing body’s fight for equality in English football

Furthermore the governing body also feel that the 18 month suspension imposed on Yems – the longest ban that has ever been imposed for discriminatory language – is not strong enough and initially requested a harsher sentence.

The FA brought 16 charges of discrimination against Yems after allegations emerged last year. During the investigation, 12 charges were upheld or admitted.

Nevertheless, the FA have been roundly criticised by after their own panel said Yems was not a ‘conscious racist’.

Ian Wright and Anton Ferdinand were among the high profile figures to condemn the FA’s written reasons on social media.

Similarly, anti-discriminatory body Kick it Out has also criticised the FA’s independent commission’s report.




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