Why did Stormzy and Adidas launch Merky FC? Sport Editor Jasmine Trapnell investigates the details behind the launch.
video shows Merky FC launch video
Stormzy launches Merky FC in partnership with Adidas to support those of Black heritage aspiring to get into sport off the pitch in management, practitioner, creative and marketing roles. With ten partners including Sky Sports, Manchester United, Fulham and LAD Bible supporting Merky FC, it has taken years of planning to get to the launch.
Driving Stormzy’s passion behind launching Merky FC is the lack of representation of Black people in football off the pitch, stating “on the pitch we do our thing. But off the pitch it’s like we don’t exist.” The shocking statistic that just 6.7% of senior roles in football are occupied by Black or mixed heritage people highlights the need for initiatives like this.
The launch of Merky FC has come just after the Football Association’s report on the Football Leadership Diversity Code showed the failure of English football clubs to meet ethnic diversity targets. Introduced in 2020, this code aimed to increase the equality of opportunities for those of minority backgrounds among senior leadership teams, team operations and coaching set-ups.
In a Sky Sports exclusive interview, Stormzy details that he is already proud of how far they have come, and the goal is for in 20 years’ time people who gained experience at Merky Fc to have gone on to work at major clubs and organisations such as Manchester United or Sky Sports. Aiming to inspire younger generations, Stormzy hopes for this initiative to support those dreaming of becoming involved in professional sport off the pitch.
Merky FC will be offering paid placements and industry opportunities commencing in January 2023 for those of Black heritage aged 16-25. The application process will commence today, November 4th, 2022.
This initiative is welcomed and supported by most as the inequality of opportunities within sport outside of being an athlete is clear and undeniable due to historically engrained institutional racism. Although, some backlash has been received in claims that Merky FC is discriminating against those who are not of Black heritage. However, Merky FC was created by Stormzy to equalise the inequality that is evident within senior roles, in not only Football but all sports –hoping to further inspire young people through having representation across all aspects of sport operations.
video shows Sky Sports interview with Stormzy discussing the launch of Merky FC
Edited by – Izzie Naish (Head of Label) and Jasmine Trapnell (Sports Editor)
Designed by – Sarim Mangi (Head of Design)