Preston North End are delighted to have been awarded the EFL Code of Practice in recognition of the club’s success in providing an environment that is inclusive for all employees and supporters alike.
First piloted in the 2014/15 season, 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 just two years since its introduction, 30 EFL clubs, including PNE, passed the nationally recognised assessment.
The EFL works closely with clubs to ensure that all spectators attending games at Deepdale can enjoy their match day experience in a safe and friendly environment and clubs across all three EFL divisions have been working hard to set high standards for equality in professional football.
Clubs are evaluated across all areas of a football club, including match day operations, general operations, community trust, youth development, attending match day fans and the first team. Each club successfully passed 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.
Preston North End are delighted to have achieved the EFL Code of Practice to a high standard.
After the hard work of everyone involved, Chief Executive John Kay said: "We were very thankful of the support we received from the EFL in terms of what we had to achieve. We were left with no doubt that we had to achieve a pretty high standard to seal approval.
"The first half of last year, we put in an enormous amount of effort and we are very pleased with the outcome.
"I introduced workshops and representatives from Kick it Out delivered those workshops. Effectively they were discussions about the principles at Preston North End which are good business practice and equality to act as the law.
"As individuals on a day to day basis we all need reminding what the laws are and in fact it was very beneficial.
"We held the sessions together, so the players attended alongside the office staff for example.
"We had a mix of people that don’t see each other on a regular basis so it was a positive.
"We looked at disability access and that is one of the key things we want to be doing. We have got to keep the standards high moving forward.
"Our target has always been to run a successful football club that is a strong part of the community.
"The Code of Practice is important and it makes sense. We are in the front line and football clubs have thousands of supporters gathered in one place who are not all showing tolerance to one another.
"It is important that everyone knows what the rules are. I am pleased we have received recognition. Hopefully more and more football clubs will go through this process."