Sol Campbell slams fans for 'archaic' attitude towards non-white managers

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Sol Campbell, Manager of Macclesfield Town looks on during the Checkatrade Trophy match between Newcastle United U23 and Macclesfield Town at St. James Park on December 04, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Photo: Getty Images

Sol Campbell believes his managerial opportunities have been limited due to racial prejudices in England, describing attitudes to non-white managers in the country as "archaic".

The 46-year-old captained Tottenham Hotspur, became an invincible with Arsenal, and picked up 73 caps with England during his glittering playing career.

He retired in 2011 and has since earned his coaching badges and managed Macclesfield Town and Southend United in the Football League.

Campbell has previously said that he thinks he would have captained his country on a more permanent basis if he was white, and reckons his managerial opportunities are similarly limited.

The former Portsmouth defender thinks supporters have a big influence in choosing which manager a club hires and that may have counted against some non-white candidates.

Speaking to the High Performance Podcast, Campbell said:

I think for me the diversity in mentality is changing. I think the hierarchy makeup is probably not changed as much but the mentality is changing.

I think the next step is the fans to kind of start to change in the ways of who they would like at their football club and things like that. Because they're a big part. [To] understand that talent is not held by colour - talent is held by whoever.

If you are overlooking someone because of his colour, you could be missing out on a great manager who could quite easily come into your club and be successful and be amazing.

At the same time, it might not work out. But don't stop yourself employing or opening up to that idea of someone of colour managing your football club.

It's so archaic.

In a 2015 League Managers Association report, only four of the 92 managers from the Premier League and Football League were BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) individuals - Chris Houghton at Brighton and Hove Albion, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Burton Albion, Ricardo Moniz at Notts County and Keith Curle at Carlisle United.

This equates to just 4.35 percent of managers, a damning statistic considering approximately 25 percent of players are BAME individuals.

Obviously the fans have got to realise that regardless of where you're from or what colour, you should be open to someone who has got the qualifications and maybe is not your favourite... but at least allow him to have a chance.

Colour should not come into it. In 20 years time we'll be looking back and going "what were we doing?"

It takes time, but for me I want it to start now. It's hard for me because I've got all my badges, I've played for some of the best teams and played with the best players, but I can't manage some of the best teams in the world.

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