Raheem Sterling Calls For More Opportunities For Black Managers In Football
Raheem Sterling has spoken up at the lack of opportunities for black players in management and the lack of representation at the top of the sport.
Talking to BBC Newsnight on Monday, the England forward pointed out the difference between black players and white players trying to get into management, using Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell as examples.
"This is a time to speak on these subjects, speak on injustice, especially in my field," the 25-year-old said.
"There's something like 500 players in the Premier League and a third of them are black and we have no representation of us in the hierarchy, no representation of us in the coaching staffs. There's not a lot of faces that we can relate to and have conversations with.
"There's something like 500 players in the Premier League, and only a third of them are black and we have no representation of us in the hierarchy."- BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 9, 2020
Footballer @sterling7 says it's time to start having conversations that really "start implementing change"#Newsnight ' @maitlis pic.twitter.com/TRwatfESfd
"With these protests that are going on it's all well and good just talking, but it's time that we need to have conversations, to be able to spark debates. But at same time, it's coming together and finding a solution to be able to spark change because we can talk as much as we want about changing and putting people, black people, in these positions that I do feel they should be in.
"I'll give a perfect one. There's Steven Gerrard, your Frank Lampards, you have your Sol Campbells and you have your Ashley Coles. All had great careers, all played for England. At the same time, they've all respectfully done their coaching badges to coach at the highest level and the two that haven't been given the right opportunities are the two black former players.
"I feel like that's what's lacking here, it's not just taking the knee, it is about giving people the chance they deserve."
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Gerrard and Lampard were both given top jobs, at Rangers and Derby County respectively, with little or no experience, with the former Liverpool captain at least managing the Reds' youth team for a short period.
Whilst Campbell had to manage at the bottom of League Two with Macclesfield, a side who were headed for relegation and threatened with financial problems, before moving to Southend.
Cole hasn't even been able to get a chance to manage just yet despite his success as a player. Other black former players have spoken about not getting opportunities.
Speaking to beIN Sport, Dwight Yorke explained how even a word from Sir Alex Ferguson couldn't get him a job, "I've applied for the Villa job twice now. I get one response from the CEO and his response to me was I need experience," the former Villa striker said.
"Where am I going to go and get experience if I'm not being given a chance? When I applied for the Villa job, I went into [Ferguson's] office and told him exactly what I was trying to do.
"He gave me some experience, he told me what I needed to do and I picked his brain. At the same time, he picked the phone up and rang Villa for me to give his recommendation. With his help, I still can't get an interview. That is what we are facing."
Yorke's experience is completely opposite to Lampard's, with Harry Redknapp recently telling Sky Sports he helped the Chelsea boss get his first job at Derby, calling the owners to tell them the former midfielder was looking to get into management.
Even Joey Barton, with far less top class playing experience and far more reputational issues than Campbell, Cole and Yorke, has found it far easier to get a job in management.
It's not that Gerrard, Lampard or Barton have done anything wrong but their counterparts deserve the same opportunities they've been handed.