Premier League launches BAME advisory group to 'ensure views are heard'

Darren Moore is one of only five BAME managers in English football’s top four divisions

The Premier League has launched a black, Asian and minority ethnic advisory group to “ensure the views of BAME players and coaches are heard”.

Doncaster boss Darren Moore chairs the eight-person group of past and present players and managers, including ex-Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi.

It has been set up to also “help inform ongoing work”.

It comes as the Premier League prepares the next phase of its No Room For Racism campaign across upcoming games.

The campaign emphasises that “racist conduct is not tolerated”.

On Monday, black England players were subject to racist abuse by Bulgaria fans during their 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win, although it had no bearing on the timing of the Premier League’s announcement.

From Saturday, 19 October to Sunday, 27 October, videos on the big screens inside stadiums – along with pitchside flags, advertising boards and matchday programmes – will urge supporters to take action if they see or hear racist language and behaviour.

Incidents of racism marred the 2018-19 Premier League season, with Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang among several players to face abuse, while there have been several more incidents during the current campaign.

“Our fans share the belief that racism has no place in football or wider society, but discrimination still exists among a minority,” said Premier League interim chief executive Richard Masters.

“We will not tolerate racism in any form and urge anybody who witnesses racist behaviour to report it.”

Masters praised the “exemplary” behaviour of England players and manager Gareth Southgate during Monday’s victory in Sofia.

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“I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing on TV. I can’t recall ever seeing anything like that before,” he said.

“Clearly you had an organised group of people making Nazi salutes and monkey chants, visible to anyone who was watching the television feed. And then the protocol coming out, and Bulgaria fans streaming out, seemingly nonchalant to the impact they were having, I thought it was terrible.”

The No Room For Racism campaign brings together the Premier League, the FA, the EFL, PFA and anti-discrimination group Kick It Out.

The campaign’s ongoing work includes reviewing how offenders are identified, investigated and sanctioned while the Premier League is also looking at improving how fans can report racism seen or heard in the stands.

“Hopefully we will never get to the same situation in English football as we did on Monday night,” said Masters. “We want people to have faith in the system.”

Social media has been identified as being crucial to the fight against racism and the Premier League is engaged in an “ongoing discussion” with Twitter about how they can work together to do better.

Manchester United players Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, and Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham, are among those who have been targeted on social media this season.

But the Premier League recognises the campaign “can’t just be about hashtags” and that it needs to be better resourced going forward.

Masters said: “I agree on its own it may be seen as a hollow concept, but if it is backed up with better stewarding programmes, better collaboration from the police then I think that will start to have a greater impact.

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“We want to keep the passion there, but the explanation to fans of where the line is should be clearer now.”

In a statement, Kick It Out said: “We’re pleased to see the Premier League continue their work to tackle racism in football through their No Room For Racism campaign, which includes a commitment to promoting reporting methods such as the Kick It Out app.

“Kick It Out will always support their efforts to make football a more inclusive place for all.”


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