Tackling the under-representation of BME coaches in professional football

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New figures on the numbers of black and ethnic minority (BME) football coaches employed at professional clubs or undertaking coach education qualifications will be revealed today, Wednesday (21 October). 

Dr Steven Bradbury, from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, will address the All-Party Parliamentary Football Committee at the House of Commons to discuss the ongoing under-representation of BME coaches in professional football. 

The presentation will build on Dr Bradbury’s prior and ongoing research with elite level BME coaches in England, France and the Netherlands to identify the barriers which have limited the pace of their career progression to date, from playing the sport to coaching in the professional game.

The findings represent the second of five proposed annual reviews to be undertaken between now and September 2018.They are intended to measure the demographic diversity of the coaching workforce of professional football to monitor any upward or downward trends in the levels of BME coach representation over time. 

Dr Bradbury previously presented to the Committee on the matter in November 2014 at the launch of the Sports People’s Think Tank (SPTT), and again to the sports minister in January this year. 

Dr Bradbury said: “These reviews will be supported over the next three years by a more focused research study led by Loughborough University. 

“It will examine the shape, scope and effectiveness of the actions of the football industry to help address the under-representation of BME coaches in the sport.” 

Findings from this wider research, which include an examination of the levels of representation of minorities and women in senior administration, as well as governance positions in professional football in Europe, led to UEFA adopting the ‘Amsterdam resolution’ to begin to address institutional discrimination in the sport.

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