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Opportunities still lacking for BAME bosses, study shows

Only five of the 92 current Premier League or Football League clubs are managed by black, Asian or minority ethnic bosses.

The number of BAME bosses at the moment equates to just 5.43 per cent of the total, with Carlisle boss Keith Curle the longest-serving at 1,140 days (three years, one month and 14 days) up to and including November 1.

Data from the League Managers Association shows there were seven BAME bosses in position at the same time between April 7 and May 13, 2015 – equating to 7.6 per cent of the 92 clubs at that point.

Chris Hughton guide Brighton to their first ever promotion to the Premier League (Nick Potts/PA)

They were Curle, Chris Powell (Huddersfield), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Burton), Fabio Liverani (Leyton Orient), Chris Hughton (Brighton), Chris Ramsey (QPR) and Ricardo Moniz (Notts County).

Press Association Sport also looked at BAME representation in the English professional game as part of a wider study of manager tenure among the current 92 clubs between October 1, 1997 and November 1, 2017.

The other members of the quintet in current employment are Hughton at Brighton, Nuno Espirito Santo of Wolves, Hasselbaink at Northampton and Jack Lester at Chesterfield.

The percentage is very small when set against the much larger representation of BAME individuals in the professional playing ranks.

A report published in November 2016 by the Sports People’s Think Tank with help from Loughborough University and anti-racism group the Fare Network reported that at least a quarter of professional players in England were BAME individuals.

“It is shocking and the more we speak about it, and reflect on it, the more it hits home that there’s an incredible imbalance,” Hughton, a member of the League Managers Association board, said in an LMA report on BAME bosses released in October this year.

“The game has a responsibility to redress the balance.”

The Press Association study found that Paul Ince has been appointed manager more times by the current 92 league clubs than any other BAME boss, with five postings. Two of them were at MK Dons.

Paul Ince was last in charge of Blackpool (Barrington Coombs/EMPICS Sport)

Hughton has held four different positions, with Curle and Hasselbaink holding three each.

Four managers held two positions in the study period – Keith Alexander, Ruud Gullit, Chris Kamara and Chris Powell.

The study found there were 24 BAME bosses in total, two-thirds of whom (16) have just had one posting to date although Nuno and Lester are still in those first managerial roles in England.

The Press Association study did not include jobs held by BAME bosses at clubs which are no longer in the Football League, or bosses who were in charge at one of the current 92 clubs when the clubs were below League Two level.

Chris Powell has been in charge of Huddersfield and Charlton and was also caretaker manager at Leicester City and Derby County (Paul Harding/PA)

The LMA has a variety of initiatives in place to try to increase BAME representation in management.

The 72 Football League clubs were, from the summer of 2017, committed to the principle of speaking to at least one BAME candidate for senior first-team roles, including the top job, whenever they run a full process.

The LMA wrote in its October 2017 report that informal “private networks” within the football world often work “to the detriment” of BAME individuals.

It added: “Suggestions that the ‘situation will naturally improve over time’ are hugely detrimental to delivering a positive outcome for BAME coaches and managers.

“The game must continue to assess and evaluate the progress it is making across this issue and where required resolve to increase investment and positive interventions.

“The LMA will continue to proactively assess the BAME employment landscape, remain an advocate for change and progress, and make recommendations where appropriate.”

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