There is a lot of work to do before the game is inclusive for all. But Shola Ameobi believes the Premier League is playing a key role in battling racism by creating initiatives such as the Premier League's Player to Executive Pathway Scheme (PEPS).
"It's really important that the Premier League set that example for the rest of football to follow and that’s what ultimately they try to do," said the former Newcastle United striker.
"They’re doing their part with key stakeholders so that racism in football is something that is continually dealt with."
Ameobi is a part of the Black Participant's Advisory Group (BPAG), an organisation responsible for helping to create the Premier League's No Room For Racism Action Plan.
In November last year, Ameobi started on the new PEPS pilot alongside other members of BPAG, including former Leicester City captain Wes Morgan, Bristol City women’s first-team coach Anita Asante, Brighton & Hove Albion striker Danielle Carter and Birmingham City striker Troy Deeney.
PEPS aims to support ex-players from ethnically diverse backgrounds who have off-field football leadership aspirations, providing them with access to an executive leadership programme, work placement and networking opportunities.
Each of the candidates gets to take part in a placement with a football club and spend time working in different areas of the business to gain an understanding of club administration and operations.
During their secondment the candidates acquire leadership and communication skills and learn about governance while being mentored by an official from their supporting club.
'The board has changed dramatically'
"It’s always going to be an ongoing process, but we know that the Premier League are making sure that they’re doing their bit, and there’s been huge improvements in the last two years," says Ameobi.
"There's still a long way to go, but I think it's embedding that within the Premier League itself, right from the very top, the board has changed dramatically in those two years.
"It's really important that people see that the Premier League is trying to do what it needs to do to make sure everyone is inclusive, everyone feels like they have a voice."
The first PEPS concludes in June 2023 when candidates and club hosts will feed back to the Premier League on their placements and training to help shape the programme for future cohorts.