The glass ceiling in European football

The glass ceiling in European football

The findings in this report illustrate the levels of representation of ‘visible’ minorities and women in senior governance, senior operations and senior coaching positions in football in Europe. The findings are based on docu-mentary and web-based analysis of the demographic background and occupational status of 4,608 individuals in positions of this kind at national league associations, national football federations and UEFA, and at a sample group of elite level professional clubs in seven countries: England, Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands. This analysis was conducted between October and December 2013.

The findings in this report also illustrate a series of individual, cultural and structural factors which have enabled and/or disabled the career progression of ‘visible’ minority coaches in England, France and the Netherlands. The findings are based analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted with 40 highly qualified ‘visible’ minority coaches with significant experience of working within professional and semi-professional football in each of the countries under review. These interviews were conducted between May 2012 and December 2013.

The term ‘visible’ minority is used in this report as a broad descriptive marker to refer to ethnically distinct populations drawn from non-European heritage who reside in countries in Europe in which they make up a numerical minority. These ‘visible’ minorities include generationally settled and new migrant populations drawn from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. They also include the ‘special case’ of migrant Turkish popu-lation’s who’s ethnic, cultural and religious ‘visibility’ seems heightened in many countries of settlement in Europe.

In the limited context of this report, the term ‘visible’ minority does not apply to ethnic, cultural, national or reli-gious minorities such as Basques, Jewish or Roma populations. Nor does it apply to economic inmigrants drawn from EU accession countries in Central and Eastern Europe, where such minorities could broadly be described as white.

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