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Players Graduate From Pitch To Boardroom

Tue 14th Apr 2015 | Football Governance

Footballers from the second cohort of the ‘On The Board’ Effective Board Member programme graduate at Wembley on Wednesday 15th April 2015.

The ceremony will be attended by graduates and officials from the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), The FA and the League Managers Association (LMA) including Bobby Barnes Deputy Chief Executive at the PFA; Greg Dyke, Chairman of the FA; and Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the LMA.

Among the graduates are  Chris Hughton, Rachel Yankey, Ugo Ehiogu and Ken Monkou. 

‘On The Board’, was created by leading governance consultant Karl George MBE, founder of the Effective Board Member Programmes (EBM) in conjunction with Sports On Board and sponsored by the PFA and The FA to help players and others involved in football to progress from the pitch to the boardroom.

Previous graduates include Les Ferdinand MBE and Chris Ramsey. Both Les and Chris will be in attendance to share experiences of the programme and talk about their career progression since graduating.

Chris Hughton, Manager at Brighton and Hove Albion and Walsall FC Defender Ben Purkiss will join a panel hosted by Michael Johnson, former Birmingham City player who also graduated from On The Board in 2014.

The graduation of players throws a spotlight on the continued commitment of the PFA and The FA to tackle the lack of diversity on boards within the sport. When speaking about The FA’s support of the programme, Dyke stated that; ‘… where BAME players are successful in attaining board places in the game, it will help to widen the diversity of the decision makers in football.”

The collaboration of EBM and the PFA is achieving results with several participants having already gained board appointments or undertaken board observations. Nathan Blake who graduated from On The Board in 2014 is one example having gained a non-executive position at Newport County AFC.

Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive at the PFA which is the main sponsor of the programme said; “the governance forum is an ideal partner having delivered a similar programme to young, private sector professionals and we are keen to replicate the success with footballers.”

The course is accredited by the Association of Corporate Governance Practitioners and Edinburgh Napier University making it a valuable addition to any CV.

According to the Sport’s Peoples Think Tank, “…only 19 ethnic minority coaches are employed in 552 positions across 92 professional clubs, just 3.4% of the roles available.”

On The Board seeks to tackle this issue and help to transfer the ambassadorial experience and insight of players to the boardrooms of clubs across the country.

Those completing the course praise its aims and outcomes, with Chris Hughton stating; “EBM has given me the chance to broaden my career opportunities, as well as enhancing my ability to relate to boards of directors in my current role.”

He is one of only a handful of black managers across the top four tiers of English football.

For more information about joining the Effective Board Member Programmes, please contact us on 0845 505 1875 or email us at admin@effectiveboardmember.co.uk.

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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