Southampton Football Club and its subsidiary companies (the “Club”) endorses the principle of equality and will strive to ensure that everyone who wishes to be involved in the club whether as players, match day fans, staff, Board members, participants on our programmes and other people engaged with the Club’s activities (for example, suppliers, corporate partners, etc.):
- Has a genuine and equal opportunity to participate to the full extent of their own ambitions and abilities, without regard to their age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation; an
- Can be assured of an environment in which their rights, dignity and individual worth are respected, and in particular that they are able to enjoy their engagement at the Club without the threat of intimidation, victimisation, harassment, bullying and abuse.
The Club is committed to avoiding and eliminating unfair discrimination of any kind in the Club, and will under no circumstances condone unlawful discriminatory practices. The Club takes a zero tolerance approach to harassment, victimisation or bullying. The legislation relevant to this policy is the Equality Act 2010.
As well as complying with legislation we promote equality by taking positive steps to counteract the effects of physical or cultural barriers – whether real or perceived – that restrict the opportunity for all sections of the community to participate equally and fully. The Club will therefore seek to institute, support or contribute to appropriate measures or initiatives that enable access to our Club, as well as require participation in associated activities by people from any group that is under-represented in the Club or has difficulty accessing it.
The following steps will be taken to publicise this policy and promote equality in the Club:
- A copy of this policy will be published on the Club website.
- The Club’s Board will take overall accountability for ensuring that the policy is observed.
- The Board will take full account of the policy in arriving at all decisions in relation to activities of the Club.
- The Club will implement regular audits, surveys or other initiatives designed to assess the level of participation of different sections of the community in the Club and will take account of the findings in developing measures to promote and enhance equality in the Club.
- The Club will provide access to training for all its players, staff, Board members to raise awareness of both collective and individual responsibilities
It will be a condition of working with the Club that suppliers:
- Commit to act in accordance with this policy; and
- Support such measures and initiatives that the Club may institute or take part in to advance the aims of this policy.
Responsibility, Monitoring and Evaluation
The Board will be accountable for ensuring the implementation of this policy. The Equality team will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation of equality in the Club.
The Finance Director will review all Club activities and initiatives against the aims of the policy and will report formally on this issue to the Board annually.
The Finance Director will review any measures or initiatives that the Club may institute or take part in to promote and enhance equality in the Club, and will report their findings annually to the Board.
The Board itself will review the policy at intervals of no more than three years, (or when necessary due to changes in legislation).
Complaints and Compliance
The Club considers all forms of discriminatory behaviour unacceptable, and is concerned with ensuring individuals feel able to raise any bona fide grievance or complaint related to
such behaviour without fear of being penalised for doing so.
Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any player, match-day fan, staff, Board member, participants on our programmes and other people engaged with the Club’s activities who violate the Equality policy.
Any person who believes that he or she has been treated in a way that they consider to be in breach of this policy by a player, match-day fan, staff, Board member or other people engaged with the Club’s activities should, in the first instance, complain to that person. If this does not resolve the matter, or in case of allegations of discriminatory behaviour against the Club itself, the person may raise the matter by writing directly to the following Club representatives:
Staff: Elliott Bryant-Jeffries (Senior HR Officer) Ebryantjeffries@saintsfc.co.uk
Saints Foundation: Greg Baker (Head of Saints Foundation) firstname.lastname@example.org
Match-day fans & all other complaints: Khali Parsons (Supporter Relations Manager) email@example.com
Players: Vicki Crossley (FDSC) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Club will investigate the complaint personally and appoint a person to do this. The investigation will be conducted impartially, confidentially, and without avoidable delay. Any person against whom a complaint has been made will be informed of what is alleged and given the opportunity to present their side of the matter.
The parties in question will be notified of the outcome of the investigation, in writing, and reported to the Club Board. If the investigation reveals unacceptable discriminatory behaviour on the part of a person or organisation the Club may impose sanctions on that person or organisation in line with its policies. Sanctions may range from a written reminder concerning future conduct extending to temporary or permanent expulsion from Club activities. In deciding what sanction is appropriate in a particular case the Board will consider the severity of the matter and take into account any mitigating circumstances.
Where the violation of the Equality policy by way of harassment, victimisation or discrimination amount to a criminal offence, the appropriate authority will be informed.
In the event that an individual or organisation associated with the Club is subject to allegations of unlawful discrimination in a court or tribunal, the Board will co-operate fully with any investigation carried out by the relevant lawful authorities and, subject to the outcome, may consider taking action as above in relation to the matter concerned.
Adopted by Southampton Football Club Board 04/03/2016