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 By Kevin Palmer
May 21, 2014

More chances for black managers

Former Norwich manager Chris Hughton has suggested more needs to be done to ensure black managers are given a chance to land top jobs in English football.

The 'Rooney Rule' that requires teams to interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation vacancies has proved to be successful in increasing the number of black coach's in America's NFL. But Hughton is not advocating the enforcement of a similar policy in English soccer.

However, the only black manager to work in England's Premier League last season is calling for a change in mentality towards black tacticians, who he suggests may not be getting a fair chance to compete for leading positions in the game.

"If there is that feeling throughout the game that there should be more black and minority ethnic coaches in the game at a higher level, then it is our responsibility to make sure it happens," said Hughton, who was speaking at an event organised by Kick It Out, a group which brands itself as 'football's equality and inclusion campaign'.

"Whether there becomes some type of legislation that does not go as far as the Rooney Rule, then maybe that is something worth considering. It has got to be a uniformed group of people that are able to make decisions and to make the pathways a little bit clearer.

"Maybe a lot [of potential black coaches] are getting disillusioned because they don't see the pathway. Then we have to make sure we are having more black and minority coaches taking their badges, getting on to their A license, getting on to their Pro license, which is the top badge because the game these days is very much about qualifications as well.

"I feel there has to be a concerted effort that we encourage, in whichever way, more black and minority ethnic coaches to take their badges at the higher levels.

"As an organisation, as a football family, there is a choice that you either do something about it or you don't. It has to be a question, because it always appears to me there is a real enthusiasm for people to want it to happen, but now they have to make it happen."

Statistics provided by the Professional Footballers Association suggest just 18 percent of players attending coaching courses are from the black or ethnic minority community. Last season, five black managers in the game all lost their jobs before the end of the campaign.

"It is not just the players, not just the clubs, but the authorities and the Football Association," added Hughton. "We all have a responsibility in the game to change that.

"I think is a willingness to change that and an acceptance that with the proportion of black players playing the game, the percentages (of coaches) are nowhere what they should be at the higher levels of the game.

"We have seen a lot more black and minority ethnic coaches at grass-roots level, academy level, development level, but of course at senior level there is a massive void. That is something that has to be addressed and there has to be a pathway for them."

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