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Former West Midlands footballers qualify from 'On Board' directors' course

Birmingham | Sport | Published:

A host of former West Midlands footballers are among 14 ex-players who have qualified as potential club directors.

Former Albion defender Darren Moore, ex-Villa midfielder Ian Taylor, former Wolves and Baggies striker Jason Roberts and ex-Molineux forward Nathan Blake have all completed the 'On Board' course designed to prepare them for life in the boardroom.

Tottenham coach Les Ferdinand is also among the group, which is aiming to get more directors from ethnic minorities. They have graduated from an accredited course which is backed by football authorities including the FA and PFA.

Other than foreign owners, Manchester United are the only Premier League club with an ethnic minority board member.

Roberts said: "The more diverse the game is, the better it will become.

"Former footballers can play a key role on the boards of football clubs and businesses.

"Traditionally footballers have been encouraged into other areas of the game and not the boardrooms. We want to change that.

"Players are leading this move for better representation in the boardroom and the On Board course is a great first step." The initiative aims to provide football with a pool of former players – also including former Birmingham players Michael Johnson and Gary Barnett – who are qualified to work as company directors inside and outside of football.

On Board is accredited by the Association Of Corporate Governance Practitioners and was developed by professor Karl George, a professional speaker, author and consultant.

FA chairman Greg Dyke said: "Where BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) players are successful in attaining board places in the game, it will help to widen the diversity of the decision-makers in football."

Roberts, who retired from playing last month, said: "Everybody knows a diverse board is a better performing board."

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