Watford captain Troy Deeney and head coach Nigel Pearson were among members of an FA steering group tasked with driving the development of the Football Leadership Diversity Code, who met for the first time yesterday.

The aim of the group is to deliver the code by Sunday, October 11, to coincide with England’s UEFA Nations League fixture against Belgium at Wembley Stadium.

The FA claims the code will be part of "a firm and tangible commitment from organisations and clubs across English football to diversity and inclusion."

On June 18, Paul Elliott, chair of the FA's Inclusion Advisory Board, announced the creation of the voluntary code, which will be fully supported by the FA. 

The group committed to a firm timeline to ensure the code is delivered during October, which also marks Black History Month.

Speaking after the meeting, Elliott said: "We’ve had a fantastic response from senior leaders across the game, including owners, chairs, players and coaches.

"Today’s meeting was a great kick-off to the three-month programme and with October marking Black History Month, and coinciding with important England fixtures, it feels like the right time to launch the code. 

“While it’s still early in development, it’s clear that everybody is pulling in the same direction and there's a strong will from the group to create positive action and make meaningful change.

"Together with leaders from across the industry we are hoping to drive the nation’s response to inequality by ensuring the leadership of our national sport reflects the communities that watch and love the game.”

The Steering Group comprises:-

• Paul Elliott, Chair
• Mark Bullingham, FA chief executive officer
• Sue Hough, chair of FA Women’s Board
• Rupinder Bains, non-executive director, FA Board
• Sanjay Bhandari, chair, Kick It Out
• Bobby Barnes, deputy chief executive, PFA
• Bruce Buck, chairman, Chelsea FC
• Steve Parish, chairman, Crystal Palace FC
• Donna Cullen, executive director, Tottenham Hotspur FC
• Tyrone Mings, footballer, Aston Villa FC and England
• Troy Deeney, captain, Watford FC
• Hope Powell, manager, Brighton & Hove Albion WFC
• Nigel Pearson, manager, Watford FC
• Chris Powell, coach, England
• Michael Johnson, coach, England MU21s
• Chris Hughton, manager and former professional footballer
• Rachel Yankey, former professional footballer

Deeney is also the chair of an one of a number of independent expert panels, which will be consulted regularly throughout the development of the voluntary code.

The Watford skipper will be in charge of collecting and subsequently representing the views of professional players.