Football Association release Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan update
By Dev Trehan
Football Association (FA) director Heather Rabbatts says English football’s governing body is committed to ensuring black coaches have a fair chance of being interviewed for managerial jobs.
Rabbatts was speaking as the latest update of the Football Association’s Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan was launched.
The plan is described as English football’s response to a range of challenges in the game including racial and gender equality, LGBT inclusion, disability access and engagement with the Asian community.
Rabbatts, who chairs the FA’s Inclusion and Advisory Board, hopes the organisation’s ‘On Board’ initiative will help boost the number of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) manager in English football.
“I think in terms of black players feeling excluded as they come out of the game, it’s a very significant frustration. I think it’s why it has to be tackled,” Rabbatts told Sky Sports News HQ.
“You have got two issues. One is to ensure that black coaches are trained and get through the Pro Licence system – so we’re capacity building if you like to make sure we have got better qualified coaches – but the other is to ensure those black coaches get a real opportunity to be considered for the roles.
“Nobody wants to be considered for a role just on the basis of their race or their gender, but on the basis that they are capable and competent and talented.
“They want an opportunity to be able to express that talent and competency across the interview table and that’s where we are trying to get black coaches to.”
Despite comprising over 25 per cent of current players, just five of the 92 league clubs have BAME managers – Brighton’s Chris Hughton, Huddersfield’s Chris Powell, Carlisle’s Keith Curle, Burton’s Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Leyton Orient’s Fabio Liverani.
Former Liverpool, Manchester City and West Ham goalkeeper David James has just returned from managing the Kerala Blasters in the inaugural Indian Super League.
The 44-year-old believes he would not have considered for a managerial vacancy in England but called on more BAME former players to put themselves forward for coaching courses.
“I wouldn’t have had the opportunity in England for sure, but it’s made me hungry for more” James told Sky Sports after guiding Kerala to the final of the competition last month.
“I would like to manage at some stage in England. This has definitely whet my appetite to do more and next time I want to win something.
“But having been on a number of coaching courses I would say (BAME) representation is small. Therefore, if players and wannabe coaches and managers are not going through the process they are not going to get the jobs.
“You need qualifications and you have to go through the process. If you’re not going to go through it, you’re not going to get the job – it’s simple.”
View The FA’s English Football’s Inclusion & Anti-Discrimination Action Plan here.