Hughton: Qualifications key for aspiring coaches
Chris Hughton believes getting the right qualifications and coaching badges is the key to getting more ethnic minority managers to the highest level of football.
Hughton was the only black manager in the top four tiers of English football before he was sacked by Norwich City in April, leaving the domestic leagues without any ethnic minority managers.
But the former Newcastle boss reckons schemes like The FA’s COACH bursary programme, which offers ethnic minority coaches the chance to further their managerial aspirations, can help improve the figures.
Hughton said: “The lack of black and ethnic coaches at the highest level means that it is more important than ever that people get qualifications and go through the level of coaches.
“You need to be aware of what a coaching philosophy is – it is important that when you go into an interview you can show a CV that shows that you are as highly qualified as possible.
“We need a structure in place that encourages this because at this particular moment if you are a budding young black coach you can’t see much up the ladder to inspire you.”
The COACH bursary programme is open to applicants from the black, Asian minority ethnic (BAME) communities.
It offers successful candidates the opportunity to complete coaching qualifications, gain experience at Premier League and Football League academies and centres of excellence to observe top managers and to benefit from mentoring.
And Hughton says there is a need for such schemes to redress the imbalance between ethnic minority players and managers.
He added: “When you look at black and ethnic minority involvement in football you have to look at the percentage of those that are playing to those that are coaching.
“I have been encouraged to see an involvement of black and ethnic coaches at grassroots level and academy level.
“That is good to see but you want to see a better representation at a visual level.
“It is a real disappointment that a game that has been graced by black and ethnic minorities for so long there is such a low representation in the league as managers.
“The FA, the clubs and all in the game have a responsibility to address the imbalance.”
Hughton has also called upon black and ethnic coaches to make sure they use programmes such as COACH and show their hunger and ambition to gain the necessary qualifications.
“There is always something worth fighting for and for those who have found difficulties in their path way it is hard,” he said.
“But it is even more difficult if you don’t have the thirst for knowledge or you don’t get the qualifications you need.
“Whatever we think about pathways for ethnic minority coaches they have to present to possible employers as good a CV as possible.
“If I could give some advice to up and coming managers it would be to not let a lack of coaching, ambition or qualifications that people are able to get, be a reason for not getting a job.”
From The FA