Former England international Eni Aluko has backed the introduction of a target to ensure 30 per cent of sports boards are made up of BAME individuals.
The current Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the discrepancy between on-pitch representation for people from BAME backgrounds and the lack of managers and boardroom representatives.
Aluko, who is now in a leadership role at Villa, addressed MPs at a hearing of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee on Tuesday morning and insisted there is still a ‘glass ceiling’ for people from ethnic backgrounds in management and in the boardroom.
‘At this point we have to (have a target),’ she told MPs.
‘There has to be something intentional about the change. When you rely on self-regulation, (clubs and governing bodies) fall back into a comfort zone.’
‘That was a mandatory rule which instinctively changed recruitment behaviour,’ she added.
‘Whether owners and directors like it or not, this is something the game needs to do.’
Aluko’s comments come after a report in the Daily Telegraph in June which found only three per cent of board members in taxpayer-funded UK sports governing bodies were black.
Wolves’ Nuno Espirito Santo is the only manager in the Premier League from a BAME background and there are only four in the entire English professional game.
Aluko – a 102-cap England international – faced racism herself, complaining to the FA in 2016 about issues within the national women’s team.