Southampton FC has been awarded the Premier League’s Equality Advanced Standard, becoming the first top-flight club to earn the accolade at the first time of trying.
The Premier League’s Equality Standards, introduced back in 2015, reflects current legislation and case law, providing a framework to guide professional football clubs towards achieving equality. It gives clubs the platform to make improvements internally and raise awareness externally.
Over the past four years Southampton has achieved the preliminary and intermediate standards, but spent the past 18 months working towards the advanced.
To achieve the Advanced Standard, all clubs must undergo a rigorous assessment led by a panel of independent experts, with focus on demonstrating they’re committed to a cycle of continuous improvement with regards to equality throughout the organisation.
Managing Director, Toby Steele, said: “After four years of learning and action, I’m delighted we’ve been awarded the Premier League’s Advanced Standard.
“This has been a club and Foundation wide effort and I’d like to thank every member of our Equality and Diversity team and other staff members who have helped with the numerous initiatives undertaken within the stadium and out in the community.
toby steeleit's important to note that we won't stop here and there is a lot more work to do.
“It’s important to note that we won’t stop here and there is a lot more work to do, with a number of milestones to achieve in the near future, but for now, it’s time to reflect and recognise the success of the past four years.”
The club recently launched a Faith Review, looking at ways community links can be strengthened and assess the well-being needs of staff members, which has seen the appointment of a club chaplain.
A dedicated team is now in place with a focus on improving the experience of females working with us, supporting them to feel included and empowered.
Ali Wallace, Equality and Diversity Manager said: “Achieving the standard has been a collective effort across the club and it’s been amazing to see so many people contribute to our equality strategy.
“While keen to reflect and celebrate this recognition from the Premier League, the club is committed to maintaining momentum and looks forward to even more people supporting us in the next phase of making this great football club as inclusive as possible.”