Football coaches may be discriminated against because of their colour, report finds

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A new study carried out by Sports Person's Think Tank has found that only 19 black and ethnic minority (BME) coaches have roles within the 552 classified roles at professional football clubs in England.

It is believed that BME coaches only take up 3.4% of the positions available even though 25% of professional players come from black and minority backgrounds. Furthermore, it has been revealed that a main aim for the report is to help achieve 20% of coaches in professional football to be from BME backgrounds.

Lost generation

Former Reading striker Jason Roberts, who is a founding member of Sports Person's Think Tank has outlined in the report how football has lost out on many coaches and managers just because of their backgrounds.

"It appears that football has lost successive generations of potential coaches and managers simply because they are black or from other ethnic minority backgrounds," he said.

"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."

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The report, which was carried out by Dr Stephen Bradbury of Loughborough University, also covered the issue of BME professional players not going on to do their full coaching badges in the fear they will get overlooked for a coaching role purely due to their background.

Currently in the Football League, Carlisle United's Keith Curle and Huddersfield Town's Chris Powell are the only black managers in a possible 92 positions.

The Rooney Rule

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) have been openly criticised the chairman of the Football League, Greg Clarke for not implementing the 'Rooney Rule'. The rule was introduced into the NFL 2002 and states that at least one black or ethnic minority coach or manager should be interviewed for a position.

The study is funded by the anti discrimination FARE. The report will be presented to Westminster Parliament on Monday to outline how BME coaches are being overlooked.

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Jason Roberts
England Football
Chris Powell

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