Is football discriminating against black people?

BBC’s recent report on football’s state of affairs has turned up some interesting statistics (that lend themselves to controversial conclusions):

  • Only 2 out of 92 league clubs in England have black managers
  • Less than 1% of senior coaching staff at the 92 league clubs are black – even though more than 20% of players are

Is there really discrimination in football against black people, or is there some other explanation?

The study study also tells us that:

  • Just two of the nine most highly-qualified black coaches in the country – all of whom have better qualifications than Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate – currently have jobs in the league.
  • Since its inception in 1992, there has never been a black English manager in the Premiership – even though about 25% of its players are not white. Jean Tigana managed Fulham and Ruud Gullit was in charge at Chelsea and Newcastle, but there has not been an English black manager in the top flight.

This is understandably a very sensitive subject (not like the ‘is Henry is a diver’ posts), so I wont say much except that:

1) How many black captains are there in the Premiership? In the whole of 92 clubs?

2) As Gareth Crooks says:

“The view among black footballers used to be that they had to be much better than their white counterparts to get in the team. The same seems to be true of black managers now.”

This seems plausible, but without being in the same environment myself I don’t think I can comment with any authority on the subject.

What do you guys think?


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  1. Red_Rach 22 February, 2007
  2. Hugo Steckelmacher 23 February, 2007
  3. DBeech 23 February, 2007
  4. Stephen 23 February, 2007
  5. chris 11 March, 2009