Does European football leadership lack gender and racial diversity?21 April 2020


In some leagues you can see that up to 30% of the players on the pitch are from minority backgrounds but the coaches are from a pool that consists of former white players. And we might live in an age of globalised ownership but board members, CEOs and their executive teams are mostly male and white.

Fare is not taking these visible perceptions for granted, we want to examine how much of these impressions are fact and how much we need to update the widely held view that women and ethnic minorities are not appointed as leaders within football.

The only comprehensive research available across European football is now almost 6 years old, it is time to find out more and to suggest how football might start to diversify and reap the widely proven benefits associated with real diversity. We will also suggest ways in which the hurdles, some of them the result of genuine dilemmas, might be overcome.


This Spring Fare is launching the Governance Index project through which we will be collecting data and developing recommendations for action by football bodies.

This is not an project just about football management but one that we believe affects governance through the quality of decisions made. It has relevance to the stakeholder partnerships running football, and the need to ensure equity and a level playing field within Europe’s biggest sport.


The Governance Index is looking to appoint national level experts in the 14 countries of the project to act as data collectors working with a team of academics led by Jacco Van Sterkenburg of Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

If you have expert knowledge of football in one of the countries below and can spend a maximum of four days on this project in early June to collect data according to a template we want to hear from you. There is a fee for this work.

Research countries:  Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden

Download the full scope of the project here.

If you can offer expertise as national data collector please send an email to Grace Veys through by the 4th May. Include an overview of your experience, motivation, and your CV.