Football

Chris Hughton and Chris Powell - The last of a dying breed?

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Simply put, football is a ruthless business where personal attachments and feelings tend to take a step back for results.

This season, Norwich haven't been able to do enough to convince the higher-ups Chris Hughton is the right man for the managerial role and his job security in question.

With the team tangled in a relegation battle as they sit just four points off the drop zone, Norwich's Chief Executive David McNally -whether rightly or wrongly- hasn't been shy about making it known that Hughton's job is up for consideration and that he would sack him without a moment's hesitation.

In fact, McNally is already on the hunt for a replacement according to an earlier copy of the Guardian this month, saying: "It would be almost delinquent of the football club to not be aware of potential candidates if for any reason your manager left."

However, if Hughton were to be relieved of his duties, Chris Powell would be the only remaining Black manager throughout the whole of the England's Premier and League football.

That wouldn't sit well with FIFA Vice-President Jeffrey Webb who called for the F.A to address the lack of black managers in the English game, back in October 2013. Since then, there's actually been one less manager as Blackpool sacked Paul Ince earlier in the year.

Webb argued that non-white players are "disheartened" by the prospect of going down the managerial route because they feel they don't get an equal opportunity, after speaking to the likes of Jason Roberts.

"There's a lot of young players coming through," he told BBC Sport.

"I understand that more than 30% of the league is made up of people of African descent and over 71 different nationalities playing in the Premier League, but it's not reflected, they're not getting an opportunity [to manage]."

"Many of them are becoming very demoralised and these are issues of course that we hope the FA will take on and that of the Premier League. The [English] game must reflect society and the community. It doesn't do so."

Then again, it could be argued that there simply aren't that many good black managers out there. Take Powell for example, Charlton are currently sitting 22nd in the Championship, placing them in a relegation spot. Ince was let go after leading the team to 12 wins in 42 games.

Even the supporters weren't convinced the former 46-year-old was the right man for the job as the Blackpool Supporters Association had taken a unanimous vote of "no confidence" in Ince.

Nonetheless, it would be naive-and quite frankly stupid- to say that ethnicity and even gender aren't factors when the higher up in the food chain are making decisions - whether consciously or otherwise.

The Football Association Chairman, Greg Dyke, was criticised by the board member Heather Rabbatts for a perceived lack of diversity in his commission on the future of the English game. His initial eight-strong panel was entirely comprised of white men, although Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand was later added to the group.

At the end of the day, Webb's worry is understandable because the prospect of having no black managers among the Nation's 92 best teams is unsettling. Though in no way does that mean teams should dish out jobs due to the colour of someone's skin, rather than their aptitude.

Norwich's win against Tottenham this weekend should alleviate some of the pressure and could prove to be vital in the bottom half of the Premier League, where 10 points separate 10th place and 20th.

As for Chris Powell, Charlton are only a point away from safety and have played two fewer games than everyone else. Getting to the fifth round of the F.A Cup should also earn him some extra wiggle room with boardroom.

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Chris Powell
Charlton Athletic
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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