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Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford star in Football Black List awards | Premier League manager issue remains

Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford were celebrated at the Football Black List awards – but no black manager in the Premier League highlights a long-standing issue

Marcus Rashford Bukayo Saka Arsenal man utd
Image: Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford were celebrated at the Football Black List awards

Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka were two of the players on the 2022 Football Black List who were celebrated among their peers this week at a buoyant ceremony in south London. 

Premier League royalty was in attendance, with Yaya Toure and Wes Morgan present to celebrate some of the most influential black figures on and off the pitch. However, there was one noticeable absentee from the list, Patrick Vieira.

Vieira was recognised in the Coaching and Management category for his work at Crystal Palace, after guiding them to a 12th-placed league finish in his first season in charge, as well as an FA Cup semi-final.

However, the former Arsenal midfielder was sacked this month with Crystal Palace in that exact same position, due to a 12-game run without a win.

This means there are now no black managers in the Premier League, a fact not lost on the guests who attended in Battersea despite over 40 per cent of players in the Premier League being black.

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Speaking to Sky Sports, former Manchester City star Yaya Toure has pleaded for more diversity in football management and coaching

Toure, who was awarded the Keith Alexander award for black excellence in the game, told Sky Sports News: "It's always tough. It's not only me, but all the black ex-players also trying to get involved in the job start to question the opportunities and possibilities if you get sacked.

"We're not getting the right answers at the moment. My brother (Kolo Toure) was sacked and after Patrick Vieira, who was doing really well, but the decision was made.

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"Things must change, people have been talking about diversity, about positivity. The coaching courses that I've been on, I've seen a lot of black people on there. I hope the FA and the Premier League can work hard to make things happen."

Toure currently works at Tottenham as a youth coach, but after a career that saw him win numerous trophies, including the Premier League, Champions League, LaLiga and the Africa Cup of Nations - he is keen to take the reins in management.

Image: Vincent Kompany's Burnley side top the Championship

"That's my aim and my target. I don't want to say I'm patient. I'm working and developing at Tottenham. I'm ready and I hope the opportunity comes soon," he said.

Morgan highlighted the case of Vincent Kompany, whose Burnley side top the Championship, as a case of a black coach given a chance to show their capabilities.

The former Leicester City captain said: "It's an unforgiving game, if you don't perform your head's always on the chopping block.

"The lack of black managers is alarming in my opinion, at the same time hopefully initiatives that the Premier League and PFA are introducing will see more black coaches and managers get the opportunity to show what they're made of. It's great to see Vincent Kompany do so well and it's down to him to lead the way and hopefully more will come through."

Deji Davies, a director at Brentford, is the only black board member at a Premier League club - having started as chair of the FA inclusion advisory board in October last year.

Wes Morgan
Image: Wes Morgan celebrated influential black figures

He said: "I want to further the case for inclusion across the nation. I'm impressed with what I'm hearing from the FA and how committed they are on the agenda of inclusion. I'm under no illusions about how much hard work it will take but I'm optimistic that we will achieve real impact in the coming years.

"If you look at the pitch, there are 40 per cent of players on the pitch [in the Premier League] that are black, you start going to coaching and executive levels and I'm the only board member in the Premier League that is black - that's not real representation. That's one example of representation we need to address - I plan to do that.

Patrick Vieira is concerned by the lack of goals in his Crystal Palace side
Image: Patrick Vieira was sacked at Crystal Palace this month

"As a fan of football, I was sad to see Patrick lose his job - but rather than talk about individual cases, it just highlights the lack of representation as an overall problem which I want to play my part in fixing."

These types of conversations were not just saved for the Sky Sports News microphone. Walking around Battersea Arts Centre, people in different roles across football were engaged in discussion about improving diversity in all aspects of the game.

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Kick It Out chief executive Tony Burnett says football is still not making progress on representation and has called for complete transparency when it comes to appointing football managers and coaches

Ferdinand still seeing impact of documentary

Anton Ferdinand released his documentary, Football Racism and Me, in November 2020 - centred around his highly-publicised incident with John Terry in 2011. Twelve years on from the incident, Ferdinand is still seeing the impact of speaking out.

Ferdinand told Sky Sports News: "I didn't make a documentary just to make a documentary and be quiet. I made a documentary to give my side of the story but also to be a voice in the right way.

"Will I challenge people? Yes I will - but I'll always challenge in the right way. I didn't make the documentary for me; I made it for the next generation.

Hayden Mullins was sacked at Colchester in January
Image: Hayden Mullins was sacked at Colchester in January

"When it came out it was Covid so I didn't understand the impact that it had, the amount of letters, e-mails, even on my Instagram now - the amount of direct messages I get who have watched it recently or when it came out.

"The biggest thing for me in terms of impact, is hearing people come up and say - your documentary educated me. In B&Q a white man came up to me and said, 'hearing what Neil Warnock said in your documentary about comments made, made me check myself and educate myself'. That meant more to me than anyone else.

"For us to counteract racism in society and football, everyone must talk about it. White people need to speak about it too. Everybody needs to speak about racism."

See below for the full Football Black List for 2022:


Andre Gray, Aris and Jamaica

Bukayo Saka, Arsenal and England

Charlotte Lynch, Leyton Orient Women

Marcus Rashford, Manchester United and England

Raheem Sterling, Chelsea and England


Deji Davies, The FA

Jobi McAnuff, The FA

Les Ferdinand, QPR

Maheta Molango, PFA

Sarah Gregorius, FIFPRO

Coaching and Management

Aubrey Rogers, Liverpool

Danetta Powell, Birmingham City

Patrick Vieira, Crystal Palace

Paul Nevin, West Ham United and England

Vincent Kompany, Burnley


Akinola Fashola, West Ham United

Akua Agyemfra, Merky and The Balley Consultancy

Freda Ayisi, Content Creator

Liseli Sitali, Sky Sports

Sofia Thomas, Juno Sports Tax

Community and Grassroots

Andrew Lovelace, Watford Ladies

Habib Olorukoba-Oseni, Cray Wanderers and Welling United Deaf FC

Kerry Phillips, Saving Souls

Simon Hyacinth, FURD

Trisha Lewis, Romance FC


Dr Michael Seeraj, Charlton Athletic Community Trust

Lianne Sanderson, talkSPORT


Carl Anka, The Athletic

Fatou Jeng, BT Sport

Jemma Archer, Whisper Productions

Pippa Monique, The Football Mum Podcast

Nelson Kumah, BBC Sport


Ciaran Baxendale, Football Beyond Borders

Iffy Onoura, Premier League

Lauren Impey, PGMOL

Michael Hamilton, AFC Wimbledon

Dr Paul Campbell, University of Leicester

Ugo Ehiogu's Ones To Watch

Cordell Lake-Benjamin, Palace for Life Foundation

Debra Nelson, Football Beyond Borders

J'nae Ward, Refresh Sport Consultancy and Productions

Siham Abdullahi, Buzz 16

Tyra Mills, Kinetic Foundation

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