Dearth of diversity in football’s boardrooms comes under the spotlight in student Sam’s shortlisted documentary

News Page 2nd April 2019

A student’s documentary examining the lack of diversity in professional football club boardrooms has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Samuel Ogunleye is in the running for a Midlands Media Student Award for his documentary, The Black Board, which he produced during his final year on the Multimedia Journalism course at the University of Northampton.

In the film, which you can watch below, Samuel interviews QPR director of football and former England international, Les Ferdinand, about the issues of diversity in the boardroom, while Premier League Leicester City star, Wes Morgan, reveals his ambitions to break into the boardroom after he’s hung up his boots.

Samuel also quizzes Burton Albion chief, Ben Robinson, who is one of just a handful of BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) chairmen in the English Football League.

Samuel said: “While there a many BAME football players in the professional game and a handful of managers, there appears to be some sort of barrier to them progressing to roles in boardrooms.

“I wanted to find out what the barriers were, and whether people were just not bothering to apply for these roles because they thought it was a closed shop.

“I think the future could be bright if the professional game adopted the Rooney Role, whereby one-in-five people interviewed for a directorship needs to be from a BAME background. The Football Association has committed to do this when it interviews for future England managers and if clubs also adopted the policy, we might see a change in the status quo.”

Samuel, left, interviewing QPR’s Les Ferdinand

Leicester City’s Wes Morgan

Senior Lecturer in Multimedia Journalism, Marc Webber, said: “Whilst there has quite rightly been increasing scrutiny on the number of BAME players and managers there are in British football, no-one has turned the spotlight on the boardrooms and Sam’s documentary gives a great insight to the problem and the solution.

“He has got input from some very important people at the heart of this story and his tenacity ensured these great contributors to a well-told tale.”

The winners of the Midlands Media Student Awards will be announced on Wednesday 10 April.

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