Supported by the Premier League (EPL), the event, taking place in London, will celebrate individuals of African and Caribbean backgrounds on the Football Black List – an initiative that highlights the successes of a group that is under-represented away from the pitch.
The evening will see Tony Collins, Britain’s first black manager, recognised by the football family as Premier League footballers, coaches, managers and senior administrators show their support.
While more than 25% of professional players in the UK are black, there is a lack of representation in decision making positions across all areas away from playing. To help address this and pay tribute to those in influential positions – the Football Black List shines a light on those who are inspiring the next generation to consider other roles in the sport.
At the event all those on the Football Black List, from its inception in 2008, will be celebrated – with a special focus on the most recent 2016 list. There will also be special awards given to outstanding individuals for their work in football with Tony Collins recognised as the first black manager in the Football League, taking Fourth Division Rochdale AFC to the League Cup Final in 1962.
Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman of the Premier League, welcomed the event, “The Football Black List provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate our commitment in this area while championing some of the great work and achievements of individuals from BAME communities succeeding at all levels of the game. They are the ones that will provide the example and leadership for others to follow and we are pleased to be able to support this celebration.”
Football Black List co-founder Leon Mann commented, “The Football Black List celebration is very special, as it will bring the black community and the football family together to highlight achievement and also look at how we can work towards a more diverse industry.
Yaya Toure, whose work off the pitch with the Fare network and as UN Goodwill Ambassador has earned him a mention on the 2016 list. “I am very happy and delighted with the stance that the Premier League has been taking to support this initiative”, said the Manchester City player.
The Black List is part of an approach taken by some UK ethnic minority groups to celebrate achievement within their communities to give recognition and inspire future generations as part of a multicultural society. 14% of the UK population are from visible ethnic minority backgrounds, mainly from Black-African, Black-Caribbean, South Asian backgrounds.
Find out more about the initiative and full details of the Football Black List 2016