• Football

Black and ethnic minority coaches 'under represented in England'

ESPN staff
November 10, 2014
Jason Roberts is one of the founding members of the think tank © PA Photos

A new report has revealed that only 19 out of the 552 senior coaching positions at England's 92 league clubs are held by black and ethnic minority (BME) coaches.

The report, titled Ethnic Minorities in Coaching in Elite Level Football and published by Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) in conjunction with the Sports People's Think Tank (SPTT) shows that only 3.4% of the coaches employed come from BME backgrounds despite making up 30 percent of professional players.

It is being delivered to the UK parliament on Monday evening and also called for English football to set an overall target of at least 20 percent of coaches to be from BME backgrounds by 2020.

Jason Roberts, the former striker who is one of the founding members of the think tank, said in the report: "It appears that football has lost successive generations of potential coaches and managers simply because they are black or from other ethnic minority backgrounds.

"The numbers do not add up, so many players from our communities who have achieved so much on the field of play - distinguished careers as senior players in some of the biggest clubs in this country, many with international caps, some who played at major tournaments - yet so few that have been given opportunities to achieve as coaches.

"Talk to these individuals about the realities they faced, the number of jobs they applied for, the number of interviews they had, and the feeling emerges that they have been the victims of a systematic denial of talent and ambition."

The report highlights that low numbers of coaches from BME backgrounds complete UEFA coaching qualifications, with potential coaches deterred from going into management due to the perceived lack of opportunity.

Chris Powell is one of just two BME managers in the Football League © Getty Images

The report, funded by the European anti-discrimination body FARE, also states English football often operates 'insider' networks to recruit coaches based on personal connections rather than qualifications.

The report by Dr. Steven Bradbury from the University of Loughborough also highlights even greater discrepancies in representation in football administration.

It states: "Less than one percent of all senior governance and senior administration positions at governing bodies and professional clubs in England are held by staff from BME backgrounds. This situation needs urgent action through a full diversity plan for ethnic minority representation in administrative roles, at board, committee and advisory group level."

Piara Powar, the Executive Director of the FARE network said: "We are very familiar with seeing black and other ethnic minorities as professional players but coaches from those communities are rare. This new data shows a level of exclusion that urgently needs to be addressed through creative thinking and new measures.

"If the English football authorities can address the concerns we have and move to a system that is both fair and helps performance management, football will begin to change the way it recruits coaches across the world."

The report, which targeted four main reasons for the under-representation of BME coaches as: Limited access to and negative experiences of high level coach education courses; over-reliance of professional clubs on 'networks based' methods of coach recruitment; conscious and unconscious racial bias and stereotypes in the coaching workplace; consequent lack of BME coaching role models, listed the BME coaches in senior coaching positions as follows:

First team managers: Chris Powell (Huddersfield Town), Keith Curle (Carlisle United)

First team assistant managers: Dino Maarmia (Stevenage), Terry Connor (Ipswich Town), Alex Dyer (Huddersfield Town)

First team head coaches: Dennis Lawrence (Everton), Curtis Fleming (Bolton Wanderers), Hakan Hayrettin (Luton Town), Warren Hackett (Dagenham and Redbridge)

Development squad head coaches: Patrick Viera (Manchester City), Jason Euell (Charlton Athletic), Ugo Ehiogu (Tottenham Hotspur), Jon De Souza (Brentford). Darren Moore (West Bromwich Albion)

Youth squad head coaches: Paul Furlong (Queens Park Rangers), Chris Allen (Oxford United)

Academy Directors: Osie Abingee (Brentford), Sevvy Aslam (Port Vale), Chris Ramsey (Queens Park Rangers)

Other BME coaches involved in professional clubs include Michael Emenalo at Chelsea and Les Ferdinand at Queens Park Rangers who are both in senior football operations roles.

Chris Hughton, sacked by Norwich in April, is still looking for work, as is Paul Ince, who left Blackpool in January. Fomer Torquay United and Brentford manager Leroy Rosenior now works as a pundit for the BBC and African television stations.

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