Our Commitment

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 be 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.

Watford Welcomes

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 identify, confront and eliminate 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.

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.

If supporters experience any form of abuse or discrimination inside the stadium, please help us eliminate it by texting us on 07825 535269.

We will treat your message in the strictest confidence and take the necessary action against offending parties.

We Campaign

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 an increase in reports received in 2019/20 compared to the previous season, from 11 to 20. 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, sending an SMS to our text line number 07825 535269 during matches or by contacting us on email to yourvoice@watfordfc.com.

We will treat your message in the strictest confidence and take the necessary action against offending parties.

No Room For Racism

Watford FC fully supports the Premier League’s ‘No Room For Racism’ campaign.

The Premier League launched their ‘No Room For Racism’ Action Plan in February 2021, outlining a series of commitments aimed at creating greater access to opportunities and career progression for Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups in football, and actions to eradicate racial prejudice.

The ‘No Room For Racism’ logo will feature on our shirts throughout the 2021/22 season, to reinforce the message that discrimination in any form will not be tolerated across the League.

Click HERE for more details on the Premier League’s Inclusion & Anti-Discrimination policies, and click HERE to read the Premier League's No Room For Racism Action Plan.

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 are proud to join clubs across the country in taking the knee and fighting 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.”

This decision should not be confused with support for the individual BLACK LIVES MATTER UK group, their views and statements, or those of any other individual organisation.

Contact:

Dave Messenger
EDI Lead
dave.messenger@watfordfc.com
01923 496397

Simona Rakovic-Irish
EDI & Disability Access Officer
simona.rakovic-irish@watfordfc.com
01923 496236

Karen Stephanou
EDI Strategic Lead for WFC CSE Trust
karen.stephnaou@watfordfc.com

Useful Numbers:

Kick It Out:
Phone: 020 7253 0162
Email: info@kickitout.org

Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS):
Phone: 0808 800 008
Textphone: 0808 800 0084
Website: Equality Advisory and Support Service

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.

Kick It Out's Take A Stand campaign was launched in October 2020 as a call to action initiative, encouraging people across the football community to take an action or make a pledge, in the fight against discrimination.

We will #TakeAStand by continuing to enhance our We campaign and encourage our supporters and staff to report discrimination and abuse wherever they see it.

To find out more about the Take A Stand initiative, click HERE.

Next Game

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