Sheffield United Football Club has been awarded the EFL Code of Practice in recognition of the club’s success in providing an environment that is inclusive for all employees, supporters and volunteers alike.
The EFL’s Code of Practice represents a nationwide commitment by football clubs to improve equality and inclusion across all areas of the game. In the four years since its introduction, 63 EFL clubs, including United, have passed the nationally recognised assessment.
The EFL works closely with clubs across all three EFL divisions to set high standards for equality in professional football and ensure that all spectators attending games can enjoy their matchday experience in a safe and friendly environment.
Clubs are evaluated across all areas of a football club, including matchday operations, general operations, community trust, youth development, attending matchday fans and the first team. Each club must successfully pass an independent assessment across 12 different areas of operation, ensuring good practice extends to all employees, spectators and other people engaged with the club.
The EFL Code of Practice was devised as part of the game’s commitment to the English Football Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan. It helps clubs to position themselves at the heart of each community by embedding the fundamental principles of inclusion and equality throughout the whole of the business, setting accountability at the highest level.
Stephen Bettis, United’s chief executive officer, said: “We work hard to make sure that inclusion and equality are part of the fabric of the club. The ongoing recognition by EFL demonstrates our commitment to the Code of Practice.”
Sue Beeley, who leads on this area for United, added: “Everyone involved in the club contributes to this work. There are still things we can improve and will continue to work with our fans in particular to ensure that we are a family and community club with inclusion firmly on the agenda.”
EFL chief executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “The EFL continues to be committed to providing a match day experience that is safe and welcoming to all supporters across all of our competitions.
“The EFL Code of Practice supports clubs by ensuring they are providing an equal and inclusive environment for supporters, employees and volunteers by making sure their policies and procedures are up-to-date.
“With EFL clubs undertaking the Code of Practice and several achieving the standard for the second time, it demonstrates the progress that has been made in this area. It’s important that clubs continue to fully recognise the importance of a diverse and inclusive environment to ensure that the game in this country continues to be a game for all.”