Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has announced a new six-point plan to tackle racism in football.
Football has come under scrutiny of late over cases involving John Terry and Luis Suarez, with a number of players refusing to wear the ‘Kick It Out’ campaign t-shirts as a protest at the supposed leniency of Terry’s four-game ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.
And in light of Jason Roberts’ complaints over his recommendations being ignored, Taylor believes it is time to enforce tougher punishments – and dissuaded players from forming their own breakaway association, as well as calling for racial abuse to potentially become a sackable offence.
Taylor revealed the details of the six-point plan as follows:
1) Speeding up the process of dealing with reported racist abuse with close monitoring of any incidents;
2) Consideration of stiffer penalties for racist abuse and to include an equality awareness programme for culprits and clubs involved;
3) An English form of the ‘Rooney rule’ – introduced by the NFL in America in 2003 – to make sure qualified black coaches are on interview lists for job vacancies;
4) The proportion of black coaches and managers to be monitored and any inequality or progress highlighted;
5) Racial abuse to be considered gross misconduct in player and coach contracts (and therefore potentially a sackable offence); and
6) To not to lose sight of other equality issues such as gender, sexual orientation, disability, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Asians in football.
In light of rumours surrounding players looking to form a breakaway players’ association, Taylor suggested it would be better to retain a strong PFA than to divide players further.
However, Reading striker and PFA committee member Roberts believes the PFA needs to be overhauled, as it is currently too weak.
He told The Daily Mail: “The equality department in the PFA needs to change and should have stronger leadership and more than just one or two staff.
“It doesn’t have the resources or the manpower to tackle the job.”