Football Association chief Greg Clarke has revealed that he’s in discussions with gay players about a plan for them to all come out at once.
The head of the FA said that they have devised the potential strategy as no single player wants to be the “first” one to come out publicly.
“I put the message out there that if a number of top-level pros want to come out, why don’t we synchronise it? So one person doesn’t have to come out on their own,” Greg told The Times.
“The Premier League, Football League and the FA could do it at the start of the season. At the start of the season, the crowds are happy, the sun is shining.
“I was asked [recently] if football is ready for top-level pros to come out and I said I’m not sure we were.
“There was a survey which said people would support gay people in their own team, but I’m worried about what they said about gay people in the other team, not that they would do bad things, but I said we should prepare well.”
Greg continued: “I’ve been asking the gay community, ‘How can we provide more support and orchestrate it so people get the right level of support if people want to be open about their sexuality?
“I’ve met 15 gay sports people in the last four weeks to ask their views, including footballers. It is very difficult to get a representative set of gay top-level footballers because some of them are happy with their sexuality and just don’t want anyone to know.
“I don’t want to be part of a process that says, ‘You’ve got to come out’. That’s not right. People are cautious. It’s a one-way street. Once you’re out of the closet, you’re out.”
There are currently no openly gay players at the top level of English football, and the last player to come out while still playing was Justin Fashanu back in 1990.
However, after years of homophobic abuse, Justin tragically committed suicide in 1998.
Former Leeds United star Robbie Rogers and former Aston Villa player Thomas Hitzlsperger have come out as gay more recently, but that was when they had both stepped out of English football.