Stormzy and adidas have teamed up with a number of brands to launch a brand new initiative called Merky FC.
The new careers programme aims to affect change across the football industry, addressing the lack of diversity both on and off the pitch. Figures suggest that just 6.7% of senior roles in the game are taken by people of black or mixed heritage.
Stormzy said to Sky Sports News, “That statistic is embarrassing. I don’t think it is anything short of embarrassing.
“If you can see that representation on the pitch with all the players, then it should at least be backed up by people in positions of power, positions of influence outside of being an actual footballer. Hopefully with what we’re doing we can drive a change.”
Brands including Sky Sports, LADBible, Manchester United and Fulham FC have all been announced as official partners to the initiative, among others.
“I think it’s down to visibility a lot,” added Stormzy. “Even growing up we didn’t see any black managers, black people on our screens in the media.
“So I think when Ian Wright comes along, Thierry Henry comes along, we know we can kick ball – we’ve always known we can kick ball – but in terms of the roles and the other positions in the industry we don’t see our representation and representation is important.
“When you can’t see it, it’s not always easy to believe it.”
Merky FC will commence from January 2023.