Rapper Stormzy today launched a new initiative to fight racial inequality in football.
#Merky FC will provide young black people career opportunities in a bid to enhance diversity within the industry.
Stormzy hopes the joint venture with Adidas “can drive change” after figures showed just 6.7 per cent of senior roles in football are held by black or mixed heritage people.
The rapper called that statistic “embarrassing” as he launched the partnership with 10 brands including Fulham, Manchester United and Sky Sports.
Merky FC will start in January next year and provide career opportunities and mentoring to young black people aged between 18 to 24.
The launch of the campaign comes after a report last month revealed that English football is failing to meet diversity targets as part of the FA’s Leadership Diversity Code.
Stormzy said: "The statistics are shocking. I think it's down to visibility a lot. 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.”
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira said last month that “doors are not open” for black managers.
Vieira is the only black manager in the Premier League and says more needs to be done to encourage black players into management.
Asked about just 6.7 per cent of senior roles in the game being taken by people who are black or mixed heritage, despite 43 per cent of footballers being black or mixed heritage, Stormzy said: "That statistic is 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."