Representation in Football

yeah so we'll start with that first oneobviously we're a supporters group that exists to for better representation ofsouth asians in football but it's that's in that's in the end offans and that's why we exist but for you guysi'm going to start with you troy um what what does

representation in footballmean to you and why is it important glad you started with me that puts meunder pressure um it means everything that it's not now umyou know i've been in the industry far too long and and seen far too many ofthe same faces you know represented not

only in the boardrooms not only oncoaching circles and in positions of influence but as you quite rightly wouldsay in fan bases you know i'm a fan as well as someone that works in thegame and has seen enough over my lifetime to know thatparticularly if i talk about people

of my color skinum we are not represented in in that field you know andwe're having the conversations again but these conversations are not new thethese conversations have existed for as long as i've been in my role at kick itout nine years and and beyond you know and it's

the massivefrustration i have is just when uh when are we gonna see changeyou know when are things gonna happen it's it's not aboutthe black lives matter movement this is not this has been a topic that has beenexisted in football forever and a day and i talk to players

who are pastpresent and future you know and the past of highlighted things that never gotdealt with the present are highlighting what the past havehad to go through to get to the stage they're in and the futurewe hope are going to be the part of the change that we

want to seeyou know so forever long i am or remaining position that i'm inis i'll always be talking about and challenging the the very existence thatrepresentation only exists at entry level only existsto entertain but doesn't exist when it comes toinfluence and power you know from from up above

so you knowit's i hope that during this period of timebecause of the enormity of what's happening globally at the momentand the space is where no one can hide anymorethat absolutely we're talking about it but also action in it you know the talkhas been happening for far too long

and i just want to see whatorganizations now were doing about you know what actions are they going toput in place what desire do they have for this change ordo they think change loosens their power you know and andfor me that's probably the most important point of of where

we are atthis present stage cool um Manisha I'm going to come to younext um as a QPR academy coach and someonewho works towards improving mental health infootball what what does representation mean foryou in in the sport that we love so i think um echo what what troy saidbecause

like i would just describerepresentation as having um a diverse group of people and havingopportunities for a diverse group of people across allprotected characteristics and as troy said i thinkthere's a lot of work being done from governing bodiesand clubs at grassroots level to to almostaddress that balance and i

think um that there's a lot more diversity therewe have diversity among players you know umhowever there's there seems to be a gap betweenthe diversity at grassroots level that we now have the fact that you've gotdiversity you know among the players but you don't havethat uh within coaching and

management uh particularly in the professional gameyou don't have that uh within other various departmentsacross you know the professional game um and people talk about visibilityand yes representation is about that so you have you have visibility at certainlevels within the pyramid but there are actually people who arequalified to

do those jobs so the question to be askedis is why aren't those people being given theopportunities um that that they should be given andand certainly not in a tokenistic way because they have the qualifications andthe experience as well so um again you know representation isabout having diverse people

um and you know ithink diverse people brings diverse thinkingand that's that's really important particularly when you're building aculture for diversity in in any environment cool thank you and anwar i'm going tocome to you because i mean you're you've had a lot of firsts in yourcareer and you've you've

made it up to management nowso what what is it for you that representation meanswell it's um it amazes me really i mean 20 years ago when i signed my firstpremier league contract with west ham i was having similar conversationsaround representation when it comes to asian players coaches and

managementsimilar conversations about the lack of black managerscoaches members of staff within football clubsand you know as a young kid breaking onto the scene with with fellowblack and asian players i really felt like in maybe 1020 years time the conversation would still exist because it's importantbut we'd see huge

change and it's it's quite sad really that that we haven'tum and i always think about the reasons behind thatuh which is why i do what i do um currentlyi'm an Aldershot as assistant manager but in my day job with Fans forDiversity i'm trying to work towards makingthe terraces

reflect the towns and cities in which they sitand it's really really difficult in some cases you've got clubspeople fans fully supportive of what you're trying to doin other cases it's actually quite difficult um so it's an uphill struggleif i'm honest but it's something that needs to changeand i

think that you know it takes people toto go above and beyond to keep working hardum and and do this daily i mean things happen all the time there's alwaystopical issues there's always stuff we see in the newsand the attention is brought to a four around thatum but the

likes of troy and manisha myself organizations kick it outthis is something we were doing on a daily basis you know for us it doesn'tsort of come up and then disappear or dissolveit's something we're constantly working onand one of the positive things for me about representation is that we

havemore people willing to support and get involvedPunjabi Rams exists now for example 10 20 years ago they didn't now they doand we can have these forums we can do events we can do activity with thesupport of more and i think that number isincreasing and that's what's going to

occurthat's what for me is is how we're going to get positive change because there'smore people supporting the people thatactually need support in this area

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