As part of this on-going commitment, the club would like to remind all supporters that racial, homophobic or discriminatory abuse, chanting or harassment is strictly forbidden and will result in arrest and ejection from Vicarage Road.
A true commitment to EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) is borne of actions much more than words. And the driving of those actions by dedicated and committed personnel who are passionate about achieving successful outcomes for everybody involved.
Here at Watford, we regard ourselves as ‘The Original Family Club’. While it’s a pleasant tag to use, it’s a statement deliberately made to invite scrutiny and measure of our work to be as inclusive a club as Graham Taylor and Elton John showed football could be when they refused to erect hooligan fences in the 1970s and 80s and instead made Vicarage Road a place where football was enjoyed by all whilst retaining its competitive heartbeat.
Everyone, regardless of their background or beliefs, should feel truly welcome to be part of or be associated with our wonderful football club.
Our senior leadership team regularly draws on the club’s history for putting people first so that we can commit to being at the forefront for greater equality within our sport, holding ourselves accountable for our progress at all times.
Our ‘Watford Welcomes’ initiative has allowed us not only to establish but to cement relationships with local groups representative of a wide range of beliefs, faiths and purposes. Our pledge is that we continue to better represent our local community’s demographic among our club’s workforce and supporter base.
Awareness and education are vital tools for positive change, and we use those as part of our ‘We’ campaign which encourages the calling out of all forms of discrimination – wherever they may occur in relation to the club’s activities within the community.
There is no finishing line here. We have committed to an ongoing journey of inclusive development and we’re proud to have set out ambitious milestones.
This is a club for everyone, with our EDI activities representing and engaging with the heart and soul of the community which surrounds it.
Our ‘Watford Welcomes’ initiative launched at the start of 2018/19 season and brings our historic family club ethos together with the ongoing work towards equality, diversity and inclusion. As a club we are committed to identifying, confronting and eliminating discrimination, whether by reason of age, disability, gender reassignments, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion & belief, sex or sexual orientation.
The club has produced an EDI strategy document which runs until 2025, further underlining our commitment. Please click HERE to read the document.
The Chief Executive Officer and board will ensure anyone who wishes to engage with the club is able to do so, whether a supporter, staff, player, participant in Community Trust programmes or any other person engaged with the club’s activities.
Watford Football Club is an equal opportunities employer. We aim to ensure that all employment decisions are taken, without reference to irrelevant or discriminatory criteria, and that staff feel valued and are able to aspire to achieve their full potential.
The club are signatories to the FA's ‘Football Leadership Diversity Code’ which aims to increase the number of Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage and Female employees in Senior Management, Coaching and Team Operations positions throughout the football pyramid. More details about the code can be found HERE.
Watford FC is proud to have launched the We campaign in 2019, working with the hate crime unit at Herts Police to encourage inclusivity and tackle discrimination and abuse directly.
We wish to remind all users and followers of our social media accounts that any comments that are deemed as racist, abusive, homophobic, disablist, transphobic and against any religion will not be tolerated and will be investigated accordingly.
Actions speak louder than words and the issue of discrimination and abuse in football is something that should and will remain in sharp focus. The We campaign has provided a clearer route for supporters to report incidents, which led to a record number of reports received in 2021/22. See HERE for more information.
We want everyone to know they’re welcome at Watford.
We care about how people feel when they talk to us.
We respect everyone’s right to be different. We trust others to feel the same as we do about being inclusive.
We believe what we do can help encourage others to do the right thing.
We unite against hate crime and discriminatory behaviour of any kind.
We support calling out discrimination and abuse quickly, and will work directly with the Police to educate or prosecute offenders.
We means everyone; players, ex-players, staff, supporters, the local community.
We can make a difference by being different; acting quickly and being consistent in our reporting is a great start.
We want to tackle all forms of hate crime – on all days, not just matchdays.
We will take all reports seriously and act quickly to get meaningful results.
We are delighted to be working directly in partnership with Herts Police Hate Crime team.
We continue to encourage all incidents to be reported to us, preferably in real-time by using #buzzoff online or please text We, followed by seat numbers and details, to 66777 straight away. The team will investigate and take action accordingly.
We will treat your message in the strictest confidence and take the necessary action against offending parties.
We will continue to find ways to help the players, staff and people associated with the club in vocalising and representing their views and beliefs. Watford FC fully support players who wish to take the knee to highlight the ongoing fight against racism.
To quote from the statement made by the players: “We, the players, stand together with the singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists, to bring about a global society of inclusion, respect, and equal opportunities for All, regardless of their colour or creed.”
The English Football League (EFL) has launched its new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy ‘Together’, which aims to make the league and its clubs more reflective and representative of the communities in which they serve.
‘Together’ perfectly compliments our own ‘Watford Welcomes’ and ‘We Campaign’ strategies, and our ongoing commitment to maintain the Advanced Level of the Premier League Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Standard (PLEDIS), which the club received in January 2021.
Together branding will appear on the sleeve badges of all EFL shirts during the 2022/23 campaign.
You can download a full copy of the ‘Together’ strategy HERE.
Club and Trust Contacts
EDI & Disability Access Officer
EDI Strategic Lead for WFC CSE Trust
Watford Football Club was awarded the Intermediate Level of the Premier League Equality Standard Assessment in March 2018.
In January 2021, the club was awarded the Advanced Level of the Premier League Equality Standard.
As part of the club’s ongoing We Campaign, Watford FC is pleased to support Kick It Out’s refreshed strategy and updated vision for the charity’s future, which is detailed HERE