The EFL has announced the first group of clubs to receive EFL Equality Code of Practice ratings.

The league has sent EFL Equality Code of Practice ratings to 29 out of 72 clubs, awarding teams with Gold, Silver and Bronze statuses depending on how they have scored in assessments.

Assessments cover equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), with the initiative initially launched in 2012. However, the EFL’s Equality Code of Practice was revamped to become a multi-level accreditation scheme at the start of the 2022/23 season, which will see every one of the 72 Clubs assessed on their EDI practices by the conclusion of the 2023/24 season.

David McArdle, EFL Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “Our 72 Clubs represent people from a wide variety of diverse backgrounds and its absolutely vital that they are representative of those communities whether that be on the pitch, in the boardroom or in the stands.”

Among the 29 clubs to have already received a status, Watford, Huddersfield Town, Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City, Salford City, MK Dons, Charlton Athletic, Preston North End, Lincoln City and Middlesbrough all achieved Silver status in recognition of their efforts to enhance EDI practices across all areas of the club.

Whereas Birmingham City, Bradford City, Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United, Carlisle United, Colchester United, Crewe Alexandra, Derby County, Harrogate Town, Hull City, Ipswich Town, Leyton Orient, Mansfield Town, Northampton Town, Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday, and Wycombe Wanderers have all achieved a Bronze rating for their efforts.

In addition to attaining Silver status, both Watford and Huddersfield Town have taken further steps by submitting applications to undergo assessment for the prestigious Gold award.

Watford’s “We” campaign involves collaboration between dedicated club staff and the hate crimes unit at Hertfordshire Police. This partnership has led to a significant decrease in incidents of discrimination and abuse since the initiative was launched.

Meanwhile, Huddersfield Town’s “Terriers Together” strategy includes the Terriers Together Inclusion Room initiative, which is equipped with sensory equipment. This feature is particularly beneficial for autistic supporters or individuals with sensory processing needs, ensuring they can fully enjoy their matchday experience.

McArdle added: “It’s particularly encouraging to see Clubs like Huddersfield and Watford striving for excellence in this area and highlighting what can be achieved. Across the Leagues the progress being made is very encouraging and the EFL will continue to support and empower all Clubs to make a positive impact on their communities and the wider game.”

Earlier this year the EFL provided support to clubs, allocating £600,000 in funding to communities throughout England in partnership with Sky Bet

This initial distribution is the first set of grants awarded by the Sky Bet EFL Building Foundations Fund, which was launched last year with Sky Bet committing to invest £6m over six years as part of its record title partner extension with the EFL.

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