Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News


16 May 2024

Club News


16 May 2024

Huddersfield Town collaborate with British Future and Brentford FC on Shared Goals project

- British Future share results of Shared Goals research
- Huddersfield Town contribute to integration think tank
- Research shows Club’s can play key role in local communities

New research for the Shared Goals project by integration think tank British Future - contributed to by the Club - has found that professional football clubs have an ability to foster a shared sense of pride in their local community across different social groups.

Launching the research in Westminster, HR Manager and Equality Lead Zoe Shackleton and COO David Threlfall-Sykes represented the Club at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration.

The event, chaired by Kim Leadbeater MP for Batley and Spen, focused on the research undertaken via the Shared Goals Project and enabled attendees to discuss the important role that football clubs play in bridging divides between different groups of people and facilitating greater social integration and connection.

The new Shared Goals research finds:

- Nearly six in 10 adults (57 per cent) in Britain support a football team and nearly four in 10 (37 per cent) support their local club
- Club football spans ethnic divides, with 55 per cent of Asian adults and 70 per cent of Black adults supporting a team. Support also ranges across political divides and includes people with different views about migration and diversity
- Football clubs can help create a shared sense of identity. 80 per cent of those who attend live games see their local professional football club as an important part of their local identity, and nearly four in 10 people (37 per cent) who don’t regularly attend games agree. Similar percentages across ethnic groups see their football club as a strong part of their local identity
- Seven in 10 people who attend live matches and 44 per cent of armchair fans agree that “I would feel I had more in common with somebody if I knew they supported my local professional football club”
- Seven in 10 people (71 per cent) agree that “Football clubs bring people from different backgrounds together in the cities or towns where they are based, around a shared pride in their team.” Responses were similarly positive among people from different ethnic backgrounds

Huddersfield Town’s Equality Lead Zoe Shackleton commented:

“We are grateful to have been selected to participate in the research project, along with Brentford Football Club, and to be able to positively influence perceptions of football, with the benefit of feedback from local fans and other members of our community.

“During the event we heard many perspectives about the role of football and clubs' potential to enhance social cohesion. Not every club has an EDI lead or team, and often this work is covered by people who have other roles. At the end of the event, another delegate asked me about my role and I explained that I cover both HR and EDI and that for me, both aspects are inextricably linked. As someone who has lived and worked in Kirklees all my life, I think I am very fortunate to be in a position to try to give something back and to encourage others to celebrate the things that we have in common as well as our individual and collective diversity. 

“Football has the power to bring people together with a shared passion and there is so much more we can do to harness this power. The Shared Goals report underlines the importance of inclusion to our fans and the sense of pride they have in the club, and through our Terriers Together Strategy, we are determined to continue and redouble our endeavours to ensure Huddersfield Town remains a club firmly rooted in its community and a safe, welcoming, inclusive, and respectful environment for all.”

Jake Puddle, researcher at British Future, who led the new research, said:

“Football has a unique power to reach across divides in our diverse society, by uniting people around a shared identity and pride in the place where they live.

“Clubs have become powerful voices on anti-racism, and it’s important this work continues. But a more proactive approach, promoting social contact between people from different backgrounds, can go further – building common ground and reducing prejudice.

“Some people will say clubs should just stick to football, but a football club is about more than 11 players on the pitch. At their best, clubs embody the spirit of a town and its people – and that should include people of all backgrounds.”

CLICK HERE to download the full report from the British Future website, and CLICK HERE to read more about Huddersfield Town’s own EDI work through the Terriers Together initiative.

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account