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Report Highlights Discrimination Against Black Coaches in English Football

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Prince Jean

Mar 19, 2024


In the realm of English football, Black coaches encounter persistent discrimination. Despite their talent and contributions, they face institutionally embedded barriers that hinder their progress. @kstp

A recent study released by the U.K.-based Black Footballers Partnership (BFP) reveals a significant racial disparity in the progression of Black former soccer players into managerial roles within English football. According to the report, non-Black ex-players were found to be 50% more likely to advance into management positions compared to their Black peers.

The comprehensive research undertaken by the BFP, which includes prominent Black former footballers such as Sol Campbell, Les Ferdinand, Chris Ramsey, Paul Davis, and Ricky Hill, sheds light on the systemic barriers faced by Black individuals in coaching positions. The report also indicates a higher likelihood, by 41%, for Black managers or assistants to be dismissed from their roles.

In a powerful foreword penned by the group, the disparity is highlighted as not only a failure to Black players but also to the sport itself, which benefits from their contributions on the field. The group advocates for equal opportunities off the field, reflecting the inclusivity football embodies as a sport.

Currently, Vincent Kompany of Burnley and Nuno Espirito Santo, recently appointed by Nottingham Forest, stand as rare examples of Black managers in the Premier League. This is stark against the backdrop of a league where 43% of players are Black, yet only 4.4% of former players in managerial roles share the same heritage, as per the BFP's 2022 findings.

The study, conducted by academics Sam Hoey from the University of Liverpool, Thomas Peeters from Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Stefan Szymanski from the University of Michigan, analyzed the careers of approximately 3,500 players from the top two English divisions between 1990 and 2010, who retired by 2013 or earlier. The findings underscore a pattern where Black managerial staff not only receive fewer opportunities but also face slower promotions, early career stagnations, and quicker terminations, independent of their performance metrics.

Delroy Corinaldi, the executive director of BFL, metaphorically described the career trajectory for Black former players in football management as "all snakes and no ladders," emphasizing the challenges backed by empirical data.

The report from the BFP calls for urgent attention to these systemic issues, advocating for a more equitable and inclusive approach to leadership opportunities within the sport.

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