Black and Minority Ethnic Managers in British Football

Discussion in 'Football Talk' started by Big Poppa, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Big Poppa

    Big Poppa Well-Known Member Trusted

    Ok so I appreciate that this may be a difficult subject but I think it's an important one and would ask for sensible discussion only.

    In November 2016 a study compiled by the Sports People's Think Tank with help from Loughborough University and anti-racism group the Fare Network was published.

    It found that although at least a quarter of all professional footballers in England are black, only 17 of the 92 clubs from the top 4 divisions in England had a BAME coach in a senior role. Not a manager, but a coach. Only three were managers, Chris Hughton, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Keith Curle.

    Hasselbaink has since been sacked by QPR, leaving just two.

    There are many black ex-professionals such as Sol Campbell who have spoken out about the difficulty of getting interviews despite being far better qualified than some who were hired.

    You also have the example of David Moyes, someone who has failed badly in his last two jobs but was quickly able to walk into a Premier League job - yet someone like Clarence Seedorf who won the CL with 3 different teams as a player, was one of the best players of his generation, has all his coaching badges and has a brilliant understanding of the game can't even get a job at Oldham Athletic.

    Why is Claude Makelele only able to be an assistant for a former assistant at a relegation threatened club? Why is Patrick Vieira managing in the MLS? When I hear Sullivan and Gold saying Moyes is the best available, I'm skeptical about their range of thinking but I may be in the minority.

    Regardless of your background or race, I'd be interested to hear your views - do you back the idea of a minimum quota system for interviews? Is there really a problem at all? If you were in charge of the FA, what would your course of action be?
  2. burnsjed

    burnsjed Well-Known Member

    It really is puzzling, or maybe sadly not.
    Of course this is not just unique to Football, I believe there's only 1 black manager in MLB since Dusty Baker was fired.

    I'm not sure having a quota for interviews actually changes anything. Maybe it gives the teams an even better excuse for not hiring one, after all, they were interviewed for the post and weren't judged to be 'good' enough.

    Think it's something that is only likely to be rectified over time.
    Sorry, no answers from me.
  3. GeorgiaGunner

    GeorgiaGunner Closet United Fan

    Just one of those things that only time will fix. There are so many moving parts (potential causal pathways) that it's hard to have a concrete opinion, let alone have a policy solution.

    Managers take heaps of abuse as it is -- can you imagine if a gaffer were appointed with even a whisper of 'affirmative action' surrounding his hiring (let alone some sort of official, FA quota)? Supporters would be in hysterics after the first poor string of results.

    The NFL has an interview quota, and all it does with absolute certainty is ensure teams always bring in some dude they have no intention of seriously considering, wasting his time and theirs. As @burnsjed correctly pointed out, it does seem to serve as a built-in excuse for teams that don't hire minorities. That said, the number of minority coaches has grown appreciably since it was instituted, though that could just be a reflection of changing societal attitudes (or a bumper class of minority coaches) -- quite hard to prove causation.

    Ultimately, I think merit will win the day. How soon that day comes, however, is entirely unknown to me.
    Ewarwoowar, Gooner Zig and Batman like this.
  4. Mo Britain

    Mo Britain Doom Monger

    No answers from me either but when I see a quarter of players in England are black I don't automatically assume that whites or Asians or others are under-represented.

    I'm colour-blind and would love Thierry Henry or Sol Campbell to be given a chance to manage us but I am completely against "positive" discrimination. There is no such thing, where there is discrimination someone is being discriminated against.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  5. Big Poppa

    Big Poppa Well-Known Member Trusted

    Its ok to recognise colour. I mean, they are a different colour :lol:

    This is rarely about individual cases of discrimination I feel. People are very careful with that now. Its usually more of a systemic and ingrained culture of nepotistism.

    If the people at the top of the pyramid are all one demographic, the bias is likely to be more prevalent. Look at the make up of football chairmen who do the hiring. It's just human nature. I think Greg Dyke called it out about the FA a couple of years ago.

    Is time the answer? I'm not so sure.
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  6. Big Poppa

    Big Poppa Well-Known Member Trusted

    For what it's worth I disagree with the quota idea. I don't think it does anything to promote progressive ideas at all. The only way to achieve that I feel is to ensure the roles in the governing bodies of these sports appropriately reflect the demographic of the fans and players who make them as rich as they are.

    I feel the current situation is the image on the left. The quota proposal is the image in the middle, but the most progressive, long term solution is ultimately, the image on the right.

  7. Mark Tobias

    Mark Tobias Mr. Agreeable

    Brilliant post. Speaks so much to me as a white South African being subjected to BEEE (Black Economic Employment Equity) where the term "ineptocracy" has been founded upon.

    Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

    This does not mean I do not want to help right the wrongs of the past. I want nothing more. But the system being used is just screwing everything even more.

    As for the topic at hand. I don't really find it strange. I find it wrong but not shocked by it. White men have ruled this planet for a long time. We're seeing some of the devastating effects all the time now.
    Big Poppa likes this.
  8. Mrs Bergkamp

    Mrs Bergkamp Established Member

    A main issue is the total number of ex players looking to go in to management. I get a sense that a lot of ex players would rather be pundits than mangers and the smaller the pool, the smaller the opportunities. Also, a lot of players aren't that good as managers eg Brian Robson,Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer will frighten any club off hiring a club legend! Then you have Guillit and Rijkaard-good players and managers but looking at that Dutch generation, how many (besides Koeman lol) really had a good go at management? The percentages are damaging and a lot of that may be down to ingrained prejudice and the reluctance to take a chance because of the consequences of failure. The latter is based more on a lack of experience-which few good player want to go abroad (not MLS) or to the lower leagues to get. A lot of players manage their playing careers badly, so there's no reason to assume they'll do better in management- a lot of ex Gunners seem to think Wenger should hand them a free gig.
    For me,it's the best man for the job either with a good track record or with that aura that will make a club take a chance. Both have to be carefully crafted.
    Question-how many England players from 1990-2000 would you trust to replace your current manager or number two?
    My answer-David Platt.
    Godwin1 likes this.
  9. Lookin' for a new Baby

    Lookin' for a new Baby New name pending...

    The best person for the job should always be employed. I think it's a bit damning that people have to be told to interview certain people. Colour shouldn't enter into it. I don't know what the answer is though, it shouldn't be happening in the 21st century that black people don't get a look in for manager's jobs when quite clearly they couldn't do any worse than the ones who club hop after the last failure and might even do better!
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
    black187 likes this.
  10. Big Poppa

    Big Poppa Well-Known Member Trusted

    Oh I completely agree it should be the best man for the job but when the numbers are so obscure that it cannot be denied something is off, I think a concerted and deliberate investigation needs to be made.

    I cannot believe that only 2 BME coaches are considered good enough across all football clubs in England. It doesn't correlate with the number who hold coaching badges, have a wealth of experience and network in the game, and are actively seeking management roles in English football. It doesn't make sense.

    To caveat my point above, in the same way you cannot assume that a high unemployment rate means a high shortage of jobs (it may also be a lack of suitably qualified candidates, a lack of desire to seek employment), an unemployment rate of 6% and an unemployment rate of 96% are two very different things.

    Within the BME coaching community in sports, the figures are that high, and that to me, perhaps overly simplistically, is just weird.

    What compounds the problem is that the authorities mandated to investigate this sort of thing are predominently made up of people who historically benefitted from that imbalance and that cannot be ok.
  11. Godwin1

    Godwin1 Very well-known

    This is the statistic we are missing. How many black ex-footballers are looking to get into football, doing the courses etc. We need the % there before drawing any conclusions.
    Mrs Bergkamp likes this.
  12. Godwin1

    Godwin1 Very well-known

    I've got family out there mate, speaking to them and some South Africans who live over here now seems like we're looking at Zimbabwe mk2. Is that a realistic assessment?
    Mark Tobias likes this.
  13. Mark Tobias

    Mark Tobias Mr. Agreeable

    Most certainly. I can assure you, white South African's are $hitting their pants at the moment. Some of us have nowhere to go and our country is looking less and less like a viable place to stay and raise children.
  14. Big Poppa

    Big Poppa Well-Known Member Trusted

    I'd urge anyone with a bit of time to read the SPTT report and it's findings - they are more powerful and contextual than any standalone statistic.

    Here is an excerpt:

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  15. YeahBee

    YeahBee Terrible hot takes

    wtf? quotas should not even be mentioned when it comes to a company

    if (and it is a big if) quotas are to be mentioned it is of course only an issue for government jobs

    owners/boards are stupid and will suffer if they pass up on talent due to stale moronic racism
  16. American_Gooner

    American_Gooner Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so. Moderator

    I think the problem is that most football clubs don't go through a formal interview process when hiring a new manager, they already know who they want before they sack the current boss. Moyes was reportedly in the frame for the WHU job before Bilic even got sacked, so a quota for interviewing BAME candidates would have just been a token gesture.

    Another issue in all sports is the stereotype that black players are less intelligent and get by on athleticism. I'm sure that contributes to the managerial choices made by these boards of directors made up of usually older white men with an archaic way of thinking. There's no diversity of thought at the hierarchies of these clubs so we shouldn't be surprised at the lack of BAME coaches.

    However, I'm optimistic the generation of players that retired in the last few years of Henry, Makelele, Drogba, Seedorf, Vieira etc. will destroy the stereotype about intelligence and go on to be successful coaches, paving the way for other BAME coaches in the future.
  17. Gooner Zig

    Gooner Zig AM's Resident Accountant Trusted

    In my experience, pro-sports administration is a massive, massive boys club.

    Once you're "in", you're in for life. Look at the likes of Moyes, Allardyce et al walking into jobs despite ballsing up (not so much fat Sam though).

    For reference, have a look at how the FA handled the Aluko saga.
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  18. bingobob

    bingobob Fan of Technicians Who Show Great Character Trusted

    Unfortunately football is an old boys club. Once your foot is in the door that's that and is exactly why Moyes is in at West Ham. He has experience and in this day and age where clubs demand instant success very few will role the dice with an untested manager.

    And it's understandable given the money and demands. No club will put in a fresh manager unless there is some loyalty to the man himself ie a former player.

    I don't think we need a quota system or anything like that (do you also go down the route of a quota for specifically English managers who are in short supply at the top as well). Cut your teeth and work your way up.
  19. Big Poppa

    Big Poppa Well-Known Member Trusted

    Brilliant post mate
  20. Big Poppa

    Big Poppa Well-Known Member Trusted

    I'm surprised there wasn't more PFA intervention on this. Seemed like Aluko was doing most of the talking herself. It was awfully handled - seemed like the FA just hoped it would disappear.
    Gooner Zig likes this.

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