Wes Morgan hopes for more progress in getting black people into leadership roles

Former Leicester captain Wes Morgan has urged for more black people to be handed senior management roles (Joe Giddens/PA)
Mark Walker, PA

Former Leicester captain Wes Morgan says only “small progress” has been made in the bid to get more black people in boardrooms across football.

Morgan joined some of the most influential black people in British football on Wednesday night as Football Black List celebrated its latest edition at Battersea Arts Centre.

Those added to the 2022 list include Brentford’s non-executive director Deji Davies, QPR director of football Les Ferdinand and Football Association board member Jobi McAnuff.

England players Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford, former Lioness Lianne Sanderson, ex-Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira and Burnley’s Vincent Kompany also feature on Football Black List 2022.

Morgan, a member of the Premier League’s Black Participants Advisory Group told the PA news agency: “It’s fantastic to be here, to be a part of it and show my support for an event that recognises the achievements of individuals and role models throughout the year.

“It’s very important. I don’t think there’s many events like this that recognise what black people have achieved and it’s only right that they are celebrated and highlighted.”

Brentford’s Davies, also chair of the Football Association’s Inclusion Advisory Board, is the only black board member at a Premier League club.

Morgan said: “I’m in a position where I can see the small progress that has been made and hopefully in time that will have some meaningful impact.

“In terms of progress being made though, it’s nowhere near where we would like it to be, but like anything it takes time.

“I’ve seen small improvements, which is encouraging, but there is a frustration that it’s not where we want to be right now.”

The FA’s second annual report on the Football Leadership Diversity Code last October showed just 10.3 per cent of candidates hired for senior leadership roles at clubs came from black, Asian or mixed heritage background, which dropped below the 15 per cent target.

In terms of coaches hired by men’s clubs, 15.6 per cent from black, Asian or mixed heritage background was below the 25 per cent aim, while a 10 per cent target for senior coaches recruited was 21.2 per cent, exceeding a target of 10 per cent.

Morgan added: “I think it comes down to being given the opportunity. First of all showing that there is a pool of people qualified and competent to perform in the roles that are available and then being given the chance.

“That’s the problem as far as I can see. There aren’t many being given the opportunity and that has to change.”

Football Black List, supported by the Premier League, was founded by sports journalists Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds in 2008 to shine a light on the most influential black people in British football.

A panel of experts drawn from the football industry and the black community independently vote on nominations made by the public to determine who makes the list.

The panel included representation from the Premier League, The FA, League Managers Association, English Football League, Professional Game Match Officials Limited, Black Collective of Media in Sport and Kick It Out.