FA board's lack of black representation is 'shocking', says Baroness Sue Campbell

"We have made real progress in the last few years. Have we done enough? Probably not. But are we determined to do it? Yes we are"

Baroness Sue Campbell
Image: Baroness Sue Campbell is the FA's director of women's football

The lack of black representation on the FA's board is "shocking", but the organisation is working to promote black people into leadership roles, says its director of women's football, Baroness Sue Campbell.

This month, a report in The Telegraph found that just three-per-cent of board members of taxpayer-funded national governing bodies are black, according to the most recent published data.

The FA has no black representation on its board, and Baroness Campbell admitted in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News: "It's shocking - that's the only word you can use for it."

She went on to admit that, while the governing body is working hard to change those figures, it has not done enough up until now.

"If you look at our game-plan for growth, you'll see that we've done an enormous amount of work on diversity and equality," Baroness Campbell explained.

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"Leadership is a really interesting, special challenge, and I think we've got to do a lot more growing young people with the ambition to be leaders. So opening up our coaching route-way, opening up our refereeing route-way, thinking about how we mentor people.

"So much of being willing to do these things is confidence as well as competence, and quite often confidence is jarred at the door when you don't feel welcome. That confidence has to get you over the threshold and into that opportunity.

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"I think all of us have got to do a lot more. All of us have got to think differently. But I do think role models are key - we have got to have people in the boardrooms who can help us think differently.

"We are doing a lot at the FA. We have made real progress in the last few years. Have we done enough? Probably not. But are we determined to do it? Yes we are."

Campbell 'delighted' with potential Neville successors

As the FA's director of women's football, Baroness Campbell is heavily involved in finding the successor to Phil Neville - and says she is "delighted" with the candidates.

Phil Neville during an England Women's training session
Image: Phil Neville will leave his role as England Women's head coach in 2021

Neville will stand down as head coach of the England Women's team next year, with his replacement set to lead the side into the home European Championships, now rearranged for 2022.

Baroness Campbell declined to reveal who is on the FA's shortlist, but said of Neville's potential successors: "I am delighted with the quality of people who put their name forward to be considered.

"The applications close at the end of the month and we'll move to interview in July. We don't know yet who the new coach is going to be and we don't know when that person wants to start.

"We have to work a lot through with Phil this year and the beginning of next year to make sure the transition is a smooth one."

Baroness Campbell also echoed the comments of Lucy Bronze, who insisted she wants Neville's successor to be the best person for the job, regardless of their gender.

Lucy Bronze in action for England against Norway
Image: Lucy Bronze says Neville's successor should be the best person for the job, regardless of their gender

"I think it's really important that young girls can see role models," Baroness Campbell said.

"If you look at what we've achieved over the last three, four years, you can see we've increased the number of women coaching in the Super League and Championship. We've increased the number of women working with our national teams.

"We absolutely want to put a lot of role models out there, whether it's in coaching or refereeing. But my job on this is to get the best person.

"The players are very clear with me. I've been talking to Steph [Houghton] and Lucy [Bronze], as spokespeople for the players. [It's] very clear they want the best person for the job."

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