Farrer & Co Women in Sport - Report - Page 17
Heather Knight lifts the World Cup trophy during the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Final between England and India at Lord’s Cricket Ground, July 2017.
The Premier League, widely regarded
around the world as the finest domestic
football league and which aims to be
best in class, can only boast one of its
20 clubs that meet the 30% threshold.
Tottenham Hotspur are at 40% and
Everton, Leicester City and Chelsea
follow with 25%.
No fewer than 11 clubs have no
women on their Boards. Of the Big
Six, three – Arsenal, Liverpool and
Manchester City – have none and of the
35 people on the boards of the Big Six,
only four are women (two of whom are
at one club – Tottenham Hotspur).
In the Championship, the position is
even less attractive. No club meets the
30% threshold. Of the 117 board seats,
only seven are occupied by women,
who make up 5% of the boards on
average. 18 of the 24 clubs have no
women on their boards. Five of the six
that do only have a single female board
member (Barnsley, Brentford,
Huddersfield, Nottingham Forest and
Reading). Wigan Athletic is the sole
exception with two women on its board.
Clubs such as Brentford are known for
their inclusivity even if the number of
female board members is limited.
Farrer & Co
The position is no better in the Rugby
Union. Of the 12 Premiership clubs,
women make up nine out of 70 places
overall, and the average representation
of women on boards is 10%. Only Exeter
Rugby Chiefs meet the 30% threshold,
with four female board members on
a board of eight. All four women were
appointed to the board in September
Exeter Chiefs are the clear leaders
with female representation at 50%,
albeit no women sit on the board of its
holding company (Exeter Rugby Club
Group PLC). The other five female board
members can be found at Leicester
Tigers, Harlequins, Northampton Saints
and Saracens. Harlequins are not far
off the target, with 25% female
representation. Seven out of the 12
clubs have no female representation
on their boards.
County cricket clubs
County cricket might be seen as the
preserve of male dominance and the
make-up of their boards (several still
call themselves “committees”, which
indicates perhaps a less than modern
approach) would tend to suggest
change has yet to come to the county
game. Of the 193 board/committee
positions, only 19 women sit,
representing 10% of the boards on
average. The representation of women
on boards is below 20% at every club.
No county club meets the 30%
target and only one club has a woman
in a full-time leadership position.
Three counties – Essex, Kent and
Northamptonshire – have no female
representative on their boards.
Gloucestershire appointed two
women to its board this year.
The hard fact summary of the
comparison is that while only 4% of UK
NGBs have no women on boards, 53%
of the professional clubs that make up
the Premier League, the Championship,
Premiership and county cricket have
no women. While 72% of NGBs have
met the 30% target, the figure for
professional clubs is just 3%.