Manchester City and Ivory Coast star, Yaya Toure, and Liverpool and England striker, Daniel Sturridge, are among the names revealed today on Football’s Black List – an initiative celebrating influential black individuals in British football.
The initiative, founded in 2008 by sports journalists Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds, highlights movers and shakers from the black community in the sport. A judging panel of experts from the community and football industry looked at hundreds of nominations before deciding who made the final list.
This year’s list, published in The Voice Newspaper, also features Matt Alexander, CEO of Notts County Ladies, the first black CEO since Jason Rockett at Sheffield United back in 2005, and Dame Heather Rabbatts, the first black FA board member.
The Football Black List provides an opportunity to reflect on the diversity within the industry, whilst also facilitating discussions surrounding how best to address the under-representation of people from African-Caribbean backgrounds.
The list recognises people across six categories:
• Coaching and Management
• Community and Players
A brand new section, ‘Ones to Watch’, recognises those whose current activities look set to springboard them onto even greater accomplishments in the near future.
Rodney Hinds, co-founder of Football Black List, said:
”Football’s Black List celebrates the contribution of the community across the game. The list focuses not only on the pitch, but also those who work tirelessly behind the scenes and the champions at grassroots level, often referred to as the lifeblood of the beautiful game.
“There are some new names this year and that is further evidence of the growing influence of our community within the game.
“To the esteemed panel myself and Football Black List co-founder Leon Mann give many thanks.”
Leon Mann, co-founder of Football Black List, added:
“Black players make up more than 30% of professional footballers across the 92 clubs but away from the field the community is hugely under represented. We have just one CEO across the men’s and women’s top levels. There isn’t one black chairperson. There are just three black managers.
“This is why it is vital to highlight our role models and pioneers working in the administration of the game, in the dug outs and within the media. The list also pays tribute to the amazing black people working at community and grassroots level.
“By shining a light on black achievers and raising meaningful debate about under representation we hope the initiative is having an impact and will accelerate efforts to see a more diverse football industry.”