Football

FA Chairman Backs Former Ireland International To Be First Black England Manager

FA Chairman Backs Former Ireland International To Be First Black England Manager

In an interview with The Times this week, FA Chairman Greg Clarke said was asked about the possibility of a future England manager being a member of the black, Asian or other ethnic minority community.

Clarke stated that a future England manager being black was definitely a possibility. Regarding specific individuals, the name of Chris Hughton popped up.

Why not? It would be wonderful to see a black England manager. It would put us forward 20 years.

Hughton has been manager of Brighton for the last two years. Last season, his side came agonisingly close to automatic promotion, just losing out on goal difference as Middlesbrough pipped them to second place. They would go on to lose in the playoff semi-finals to Sheffield Wednesday.

This season, despite predicitons to the contrary, Brighton look even stronger. They currently sit top of the Championship, two points - with a game in hand - ahead of favourites for promotion Newcastle.

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Though born in London, Hughton won 53 caps for Ireland and was part of the squads which traveled to Euro 88 and Italia 90.

Clarke also spoke about what he saw as some of barriers to there being more black managers in the Football League.

We are trying to achieve more opportunities. When I talked to Football League owners about this, I said: ‘How do you appoint managers?’ [They said]: ‘I talk to my mates, ex-players, ex-managers.’

Who are they?’ ‘White?’ Their friends are white.

Does that mean it would be difficult to get on your radar if you’re black?’ ‘I hadn’t thought about that.’

It wasn’t conscious racism. But there was a realisation that: ‘Shit, we have a system that is systematically biased against black people unintentionally.’

Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

PJ Browne
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