Stormzy has teamed up with Adidas and ten other partners to create Merky FC, a new initiative to fight inequality in soccer.
Beginning in January 2023, Merky FC will offer young Black people access to a host of multi-year, paid professional placements and opportunities across the industry.
“Enough! On the pitch we do our thing, but off the pitch it’s like we don’t exist,” Stormzy explained in a teaser for the scheme. However, the “Mel Made Me Do It” rapper promises, “That’s all about to change. Welcome to Merky FC.”
The South Londoner explained he created the project with Adidas “to give young Black people opportunities within the beautiful game. The time is now.” Check out the video below and watch Stormzy explain the need for Merky FC at the end of the page.
Stormzy Introduces Merky FC
Stormzy explained that while Black players shine on the soccer pitch, they’re massively underrepresented in other areas of the sport. The initiative aims to change this, working behind the scenes to create opportunities for young Black people aged 18 to 24.
Statistics show although Black players make up 43% of on-pitch presence, only 6.7% of senior roles go to people who identify as Black or Mixed heritage.
“That statistic is embarrassing,” the rapper admitted to Sky Sports News. “I don’t think it is anything short of embarrassing.”
However, Stormzy hopes the newly launched Merky FC “can drive a change.”
He continued, “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.”
He added, “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.”