FA confident Paul Elliott will join the board but face nine-month wait

The FA are confident Paul Elliott will join their board… but face a lengthy NINE-MONTH wait before confirming his appointment

  • Paul Elliott is the head of the Football Association’s inclusion advisory board
  • But the FA are hoping they will soon be able to add him to the full board
  • They face a nine-month wait as they need to complete government procedures

The Football Association are confident Paul Elliott will officially be granted a seat on the board – but face a nine month wait to confirm his appointment.

Elliott, the head of the FA’s inclusion advisory board, provided an encouraging update on his revolutionary Football Leadership Diversity Code, which is due to be launched next month.

But it is the news of his long-awaited appointment to the FA’s full board that has caught the attention in recent weeks.

The Football Association are confident Paul Elliott will officially be granted a seat on the board

But government procedures will take nine months to complete before Elliott can join

The FA are determined to make Elliott an official board member but there has been some opposition from English football’s key stakeholders, including the Premier League.

However, Sportsmail understands there is growing encouragement that Elliott’s formal approval will be confirmed – once the relevant governance procedures have been completed.

However, that process is unlikely to be completed until next summer.

‘Making the FA Board more diverse is something that both Mark Bullingham (chairman) and Greg Clarke (chief executive) are fully supportive of, but it is not something either they or the Board have the power to change by themselves overnight,’ Elliott wrote.

‘The composition of the FA Board is enshrined in The FA’s Articles of Association, a legal document that can only be changed by shareholders in accordance with company law. To change the Articles requires approval from the FA Board and FA Council, before formal approval is requested from shareholders.

‘As there are several ways to further diversify the Board, different options must also be considered before an approval process begins. We also need to ensure that the Board continues to appropriately balance the interests of both our professional and grassroots game and appoints individuals with the relevant skills, knowledge and experience. This is why it is more complex than simply adding another seat to the table.

‘The process of altering the composition of Boards is by no means unique to The FA and, naturally, it takes time and would need to be finalised in accordance with the Constitution. 

‘Over the next nine months, a detailed Board review will be undertaken and once an outline and proposal has been agreed by the Board, this will go through the relevant formal approval processes. I am delighted that these discussions are under way.’ 

Following positive discussions with a host of Premier League and EFL clubs, including Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, who have all shown a concrete desire to sign up to the code, the FA are on course to launch in October.

The code is being developed to help English football actively promote greater diversity within leadership positions – including coaching.

At present, Elliott is the head of the Football Association’s inclusion advisory board

In a letter published on Tuesday, Elliott wrote: ‘Since we announced the creation of the Code, we’ve spoken at length with each of the independent expert panels which are helping to support its development, including coaches, HR directors, leaders across grassroots football, and media. 

‘We’ve had a fantastic and warming response and there’s clearly appetite to create meaningful change.

‘We have developed a range of principles which will see clubs commit to being leaders in football diversity. They include meaningful commitments with targets for clubs, with considerations across senior leadership, coaching and senior support staff, developing talent, recruitment, internal culture and reporting.’

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