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Research finds “disappointingly low" number of BAME football coaches at professional clubs

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) football coaches account for just four per cent of backroom coaching staff at professional clubs, a study by Loughborough University has found.

The report, Ethnic minorities and coaching in elite level football in England: 2016 update, was delivered to the All-Party Parliamentary Football Committee at the House of Commons today.

Dr Steven Bradbury, from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough, addressed the panel as party of an ongoing discussion about the under-representation of BAME coaches in professional football.

His paper, written in partnership with the Sports People’s Think Tank and the FARE Network, highlighted the “disappointingly low” number of minority coaches employed at senior levels at English football clubs, and named just three BAME first team managers across the country’s professional leagues – Chris Hughton (Brighton), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Queens Park Rangers), who has now left the club, and Keith Curle (Carlisle).

The study reported that just 20 senior coaching positions out of a possible 493 (4.1%) were taken by BAME staff.

It also focused on the English Premier League, the country’s top tier, where just four out of the 119 coaches at the 20 clubs involved were from BAME backgrounds.

The report said: "It remains disappointing to note that since the first report in 2014 the figures have changed very little.

"The data continues to show that if you are from a BAME background and aspire to be a manager or coach, you are at a disadvantage.

"Some people might still question why this issue is relevant when ethnic minorities, and the black community in particular, are so successful as players it is surely a matter of time and progression.

"Our findings simply do not back this up. If effective action is not taken we face the same situation in the decades to come."

It also criticised the FA, English football’s governing body, for failing to provide data on the number and progress of BAME coaches in the system.

However, it did suggest that progress is being made, albeit slowly.

"The ball is finally rolling in the right direction, but it needs much more momentum, co-ordination and thought to move it towards the goal of equality.

"We know that English football sees itself as a leader in many fields, we hope to see that ambition in this area."

Dr Bradbury first presented to the Parliamentary Committee on the matter in November 2014 and November 2015 and also to the Sports Minister in January 2015.

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