NEW KICK It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari said he feels “honoured” to be taking up his role.
Having been appointed as successor to Kick It Out founder, Lord Herman Ouseley, who led the challenge on racism and discrimination in football for 25 years, Bhandari has big shoes to fill.
“I feel honoured to have the opportunity to build on the team’s great work over many years, and look forward to setting out my vision for equality in football in the months ahead,” the new man confessed.
Bhandari was a member of the Premier League’s Equality Standard Independent Panel for four years and is part of the Government-sponsored Parker review into the ethnic diversity of UK boards.
He has also enjoyed a 29-year career in professional services, spending 15 years as a lawyer specialising in fraud and white collar crime at a leading international law firm. He then held a number of leadership roles at KPMG and EY, where he was a Partner for 12 years, before taking up a portfolio career as an independent board member, adviser and charity trustee.
“I am absolutely delighted to join the Board of Kick It Out as its Chair,” he said. “I have been a football fan all of my life and a vocal advocate for inclusion. I am passionate about helping football to be a game where people of all backgrounds feel welcome and included from the terraces to the pitch, to the boardroom.
Roisin Wood, Kick It Out’s chief executive officer, believes the new appointment will provide excellent leadership for the organisation and looks forward to working with him to ensure that football is a place where everyone, regardless of their background, is welcome in the game.
She said: “Sanjay’s passion for equality, together with his governance experience and love for football stands him out as the ideal person to continue to take Kick It Out forward.