EFL representatives have been recognised for their achievements across various areas of the game in this year’s Football Black List.
The Football Black List highlights black industry professionals who are positive influencers and is designed to shine a light on role models for the next generation as a way of helping to diversify the industry.
Award categories include coaching and management, administration, media, commercial and community, all to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist in different areas of the industry.
Watford’s Troy Deeney has been recognised in the Cyrille Regis Players category for his efforts off the pitch as a driving force of #PlayersTogether which saw Premier League squads donate over £4 million to support and enhance the wellbeing of NHS staff, volunteers and patients who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also helped to create the Black Lives Matter logo that adorned the shirts of all Premier League teams as part of Project Restart.
Joining Troy in this year’s Football Black List, is Les Ferdinand MBE, Director of Football at Queens Park Rangers, who has helped to change the structure of the Club across the first-team, academy and recruitment strategies in his role over the last five years. Ferdinand is recognised in the administration category for this year’s awards.
Within coaching and management, Jason Euell of Charlton Athletic is recognised alongside Karleigh Osborne, Women’s Head Coach at Brentford FC.
Jason is currently the head coach for Charlton Athletic’s Under 23s and he has played a vital part in the success and development of young players. He has also been working as an assistant coach for the England Under 20 team, helping to oversee a period where there is a clear and promising pathway for talented young players to the England National team.
Karleigh, a former professional himself who spent time at Brentford as a player, began coaching during the 2015/16 season and has strong ambitions of ensuring the Women’s team is as successful as the men’s. It has been a strong start to the season for the Women's Teams with both the First Team and the Development Team within striking distance at the top of their respective leagues.
In a year, where the community efforts of Clubs and their respective Club Community Organisations (CCOs) have been at the forefront of the response to the Coronavirus pandemic, representatives from Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth FC are recognised.
- Michael Seeraj, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Charlton Athletic FC and Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) has worked tirelessly to educate both internally within the football Club and Trust but also with the wider football community. He has played an instrumental role in CACT’s equality work, steering the Charlton Athletic Race Equality Partnership Board and the EFL South East Regional EDI Forum.
- Duke Harrison-Hunter, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Mental Health at Pompey in the Community changed his own future after being imprisoned, training as a youth worker and supporting numerous young people through their own challenges, empowering them to build a better future. He has played a proactive role in creating awareness of racial equality in sport and is a role model for many within the Portsmouth community.
Joining fellow Hornet Troy Deeney is Watford Club Doctor, Dr. Matt Ogunsanya. Enduring a pivotal year due to the heightened risk of coronavirus, Matt has worked hard to ensure the safest environment possible for players and staff.
He currently oversees all of the medical provision for the first-term squad and during lockdown monitored players’ health, making sure they were both physically and mentally well.
Other’s named in the Football Black List include former EFL player and PFA Executive, Jason Lee who has been a powerful voice working to address issues facing players and National Group Referee, Sam Allison who became the first black referee in English football’s top four divisions since Uriah Rennie’s retirement in 2009.
You can see the full list of winners here