In a decision that sums up the outdated attitude of many of the people who run English football but at the same time earns some credit as they try to “get with it”, the 121 members of the FA Council are to undergo equality and diversity training.
The council, top-heavy with “blazer” types from county FAs who have little grasp of the multimillion pound modern professional game, was recently criticised by the FA chairman, Greg Dyke, for being “overwhelmingly old, white and male” and in danger of becoming “irrelevant”.
But now the FA board has acted to try to avoid more diversity embarrassment after the referees’ head David Elleray was ordered to undertake the course, after apologising for making offensive comments to Robert McCarthy, a black non-league referee coaching manager.
Now the board has decided that all council members should receive the same training with the aim of averting similar mistakes, especially from older generations who may be unaware that some language common in their youth is now viewed as unacceptable.
The training involves being taking part in interactive courses and responding to different scenarios.