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Black coaches missing out on best jobs

OUT OF WORK: Chris Hughton was sacked by Norwich last season (PA)

ENGLISH CLUBS are employing a tiny percentage of black coaches for their best coaching positions, according to findings by a new study.

The report, carried out by the Sports Person's Think Tank (SPTT), found that only 19 black and ethnic minority (BME) coaches were working in the 552 top coaching roles at professional sides in the country.

The figures reveal how disproportionately low the rate of employment for black coaches and managers is, with only 3.44 per cent of BME coaches getting the top positions, when at least 25 per cent of players are BME.

The findings are set to be publicly released today (Nov 10) at Westminster, and Sports Minister Helen Grant said she was concerned by the report.

The Conservative MP, reported BBC Sport, said: “It's going to take a concerted effort by everyone in football to get the sea change that we need.”

Funded by Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), the study was conducted by Dr Stephen Bradbury from the University of Loughborough. Its recommendations will be made at Westminster, while FARE claimed the findings showed that “institutional discrimination” existed within England’s clubs.

Jason Roberts, a founding member of SPTT and former Reading striker, called for an “urgent” debate about the lack of black coaches.

Writing in the report the 36-year-old said: “It appears that football has lost successive generations of potential coaches and managers simply because they are black or from other ethnic minority backgrounds.

“An urgent, honest and thorough debate is required before English football can heal itself and redress the balance.”

Prior to the new study, there was talk of the game adopting a regulation akin to American football’s ‘Rooney Rule’, which compels all clubs to interview at least one BME candidate when hiring a new head coach or general manager.

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