St Mary's Football Group is built on a strong set of core values that guide everything we do and everything we aspire to be. Born out of our five values (Respect, Unity, Accountability, Creativity and Aspiration) is our manifesto that articulates who we are and what we stand for, giving us a way to express ourselves. As part of our beliefs "We play the right way", upholding the values of the game, not just on the pitch, but off it too. We are committed to supporting and improving our community.
Within our value of Respect we celebrate the diversity amongst our fan base and workforce. We work with the integrity and the respect that this great football club, its incredible story and its fantastic people deserve. Our commitment to equality is fundamental and deep rooted.
St Mary's Football Group is a diverse organisation that brings people together from many different backgrounds. Therefore, it is important for us that equality is not a specialist responsibility, but that it is ingrained in how we do business.
Our aim is for anyone, from any background, to feel welcome at every location where St Mary's Football Group has a presence. Our culture is such that every staff member should feel valued and included, where we work with every individual to build potential into excellence
With this equality policy we will build on our strong foundations and help to attract and develop a new diversity of talent.
St Mary's Football Group and its subsidiary companies (the "Group") endorses the principle of equality and strives to ensure that everyone who wishes to be involved in the Group whether as players, match day fans, staff, Board members, participants on our programmes and other people engaged with the Group's activities (for example, suppliers and corporate partners):
- 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 and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation; and
- Can be assured of an environment in which their rights, dignity and individual worth are respected In particular, that they are able to enjoy their engagement with the Group without the threat of intimidation, victimisation, harassment, bullying and abuse.
The Group is committed to avoiding and eliminating unfair discrimination of any kind in the Group and under no circumstances condone unlawful discriminatory practices. The Group 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 in the sport of football be it as supporters, players or club staff.
The Group seek to implement, support or contribute to appropriate measures or initiatives that enable access to our Group, as well as require participation in associated activities by people from any group that is under-represented in the Group or has difficulty accessing it.
The following steps will be taken to publicise this policy and promote equality in the Group:
A copy of this policy will be published on the football club's website.
- The Group'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 Group.
- The Group will implement regular audits, surveys or other initiatives designed to assess the level of participation of different sections of the community in the Group and will take account of the findings in developing measures to promote and enhance equality in the Group.
- The Group will provide access to training for all its players, staff and Board members to raise awareness of both collective and individual responsibilities.
It will be a condition of working with the Group that suppliers:
- Commit to act in accordance with this policy; and
- Support such measures and initiatives that the Group may institute or take part in to advance the aims of this policy.
Responsibility, Monitoring and Evaluation
The Board of Directors will be accountable for ensuring the implementation of this policy. The equality and diversity team will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation of equality in the Group.
The Managing Director will review all Group activities and initiatives against the aims of the policy and will report formally on this issue to the Board annually.
The Managing Director will review any measures or initiatives that the Group may implement or take part in to promote and enhance equality in the Group, and will report their findings annually to the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors 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 Group considers all forms of discriminatory behaviour unacceptable, and is committed to 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 Group'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 Group'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 Group itself, the person may raise the matter by writing directly to the following Group representatives:
Name & Job Title
Ali Wallace – Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator
Greg Baker – Head of Saints Foundation
Match-day fans & all other complaints
Khali Parsons – Supporter Relations Manager
Vicki Crossley – FDSC
The Group 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 this will be reported to the Board of Directors. If the investigation reveals unacceptable discriminatory behaviour on the part of a person or organisation the Group 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 Group activities. In deciding what sanction is appropriate in a particular case the Board of Directors 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 Group is subject to allegations of unlawful discrimination in a court or tribunal, the Board of Directors 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 St Mary's Football Group