PFA calls on football to open ‘closed shop’ to a more diverse audience

Players, former players and administrators have called on clubs and governing bodies to smash open football's "closed shop" and go further to offer opportunities to a more diverse range of people at all levels of the game.

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Clarke Carlisle, the Professional Footballers’ Association chairman, said there was an urgent need to provide more opportunities for those from all backgrounds who wanted to become referees, coaches, physiotherapists, agents, club officials or take up other professions within the game.

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“It’s incredibly difficult and about time people acknowledged that it [football] is a closed shop. People try to keep a lid on it but that’s the truth,” said Carlisle, who was speaking at Kick It Out’s Raise your Game conference, at which 39 mentors from across football offered their experience to 200 people hoping to break into the game in a range of roles.

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