English football is not racist but it should more people from ethnic minorities as club directors and administrators, according to a report by the Independent Football Commission (IFC).
The IFC said the Football Association should make ethnic minority appointments to nine of its boards and committees in 2004.
“The IFC suggests football widens its net and that ethnic representation in the boardrooms, on FA committees, Council and the board of the FAPL (Premier League) and Football League, as well as in senior management on and off the pitch is an achievable target over the next three years,” the IFC said.
According to the report, the English game had made dramatic strides over the last 30 years, integrating black players and educating supporters. But, it said that there was room for compacency as racist abuse was still heard at matches and “there are still exceptionally few Asian players in professional football”.
“Low-grade staffing positions are still where you find the black and Asian faces at football clubs,” the report said.
“The boardrooms of English football remain predominantly white.”
“Contrary to some media reports, the IFC does not conclude that football is racist,” IFC chairman David Fraser told a news conference.
The Football Association responded to the report by saying that it would also ensure greater representation of women and people with disabilities as well as people from ethnic minorities.
“The report is not about a token black face here and there,” said committee member and former Tottenham forward Garth Crooks.
“It is about the strategic appointment of skilled individuals from ethnic minority groups to key positions.”