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Non-exec director to leave FA due to lack of BAME coaches

PARTING WAYS: Dame Heather Rabbatts

DAME HEATHER Rabbatts is leaving her post as non-executive director of the Football Association (FA), an announcement which was accompanied by a statement on her 'frustration' at the absence of enough black and minority ethnic coaches.

Former Celtic and Chelsea player Paul Elliott will replace Rabbatts, who was appointed in 2012 as the FA's first female non-executive director. She said:

"It has been a privilege to serve as the first woman of colour on the board of The FA.

"We have made good progress but there is still much to be done. I believe with the chairman and Paul Elliott the momentum for change will continue."

In a letter to FA chairman Greg Clarke, Rabbatts commented:

"There are of course significant challenges still to be addressed.

"Like you, I remain frustrated at the lack of progress for BAME coaches and managers in the professional game. This is an issue not just for the clubs and leagues, but also for The FA within its England set-up at St George's Park.

"The Football League and Premier League are pursuing their initiatives and I would urge you and Paul to use your leadership to both work with them and to set the right example as the national federation for others to follow.

"Currently we are in danger of losing, yet again, another generation of ex-players and other BAME individuals who want to play a role and have relevant skills and experience yet increasingly feel excluded.

"I know that there are really good intentions and a desire to make change but tangible action is required. I believe this matter is dear to you and I truly hope that you will be able to make real the wish felt by so many that, as The FA brand states, This Game is For All."

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