Sports organisations and governing bodies could lose funding if they fail to improve diversity, as set out in new guidelines.
The new Code for Sports Governance, introduced by Sport England, aims to improve the level of diversity and increase the level of transparency. Organisations who to do not confirm to the new ‘gold standards’ will lose out on government and National Lottery funding.
The Code calls for increased skills and diversity in decision-making and requires a target of at least 30 per cent of gender diversity on boards. It also requires a greater transparency, through the publication of more information on the structure, strategy and financial position of the organisation. There must also be constitutional arrangements that give boards the prime role in decision-making.
Tracey Crouch MP, Sports Minister said, “It is vital that our domestic sports bodies and organisations uphold the very highest standards of governance and lead the world in this area.”
“We want to ensure that they operate efficiently and successfully while being transparent and representative of society.”
“We have been clear that we will expect them to adhere to the new Code for Sports Governance if they are to receive public funding in the future.”
The new rules could affect organisations such as The Football Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Lawn Tennis Association, British Cycling, UK Athletics and UK Gymnastics.
Currently, the FA only has one woman on their 12-strong board, Heather Rabbatts, who has previously been vocal about the organisation lack of reform.
Commenting on the move, UK Sport Chair, Rod Carr said, “UK Sport has been at the heart of shaping this pioneering new Governance Code as we know better skilled and better balanced boards make better decisions.”
“At UK Sport we believe that good governance is instrumental in creating the right conditions for sporting success.”
“We are confident that despite the recent historic successes at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we can be even stronger as a high performance system with better representation and more openness.”
“This is also about encouraging more diversity into leadership positions in sport, and I fully expect to see a broad range of talent coming in to key roles during the Tokyo cycle.”
Sport England chair, Nick Bitel also commented saying, “There have been significant improvements in standards of governance, which is to be welcomed, but there is still much to do.”
“Diversity in sports sector boardrooms is still an issue and requires a mandatory code to achieve sustainable change.”