Black managers start at the bottom while their white peers start at the top – that’s racism – Stan Collymore

I want you to list the first five words that come to mind when you think of Steven Gerrard and then do the same for Frank Lampard.

Most of you, I bet, will have been pretty positive, with words such as, ‘leader’, ‘grafter’, ‘intelligent’, ­‘determined’, ‘winner’, ‘cultured’ and ‘classy’ leaping off your page.

Now do the same for Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell, and compare the four lists you’ve written.

You could have used any of the words above for those two as well but I dare bet many of you thought along the lines of ‘Judas’ or ‘weirdo’ for Campbell, and ‘car’, ’crash’, ‘air’ and ‘rifle’ for Cole.

Gerrard and Lampard both had their scrapes in their playing days, too.



Sol Campbell has had two jobs in management – both at lower league clubs

Most of us will have seen footage of Gerrard in a bar fight, while Lampard made headlines for the wrong reason for his behaviour on 9/11 as well as a trip to Ayia Napa. Yet such episodes involving those two are forgotten one the whole, ­seemingly along with the succes­s and achievements of Campbell and Cole.

Cole is ­arguably the most ­dependable ­performer in Premier League history and won every trophy there is in club football, some several times over.

Campbell was a brilliant ­defender as well, a two-time Premier League winner who was voted into the FIFA World Cup All-Star team in 2002 for his performances in South Korea and Japan.

The problem is, whether ­consciously or not, football ­owners think this way as well. Which is why Lampard and Gerrard both landed good jobs off the bat and one of the reasons Lampard, after one year of doing well enough with Derby, was fast-tracked to Chelsea.



Frank Lampard was appointed Chelsea boss after just one year as a manager

Campbell, meanwhile, had to start his management career with Macclesfield at the ­bottom of League Two, while his second job is with Southend, relegated from League One. Just as Gerrard worked with Liverpool’s ­academy, so Cole is taking his first step with Chelsea’s.

But it would be folly to think he will walk into a job as big as Rangers, as Gerrard did, as soon as he feels he is ready for management.

Not just in sport but in life, there has long been a perception that white middle-class men are bred to lead and black men are not.

And as a result, white former players get opportunities that simply don’t exist for their black counterparts.

I remember asking Les Ferdinand a few years ago why he hadn’t gone into management and he just said: “Stan, there’s no point.”



Ashley Cole is a coach at Chelsea

He had a stellar playing career and sent off numerous applications when he first came out of the game but in a lot of situations he didn’t even get a reply. It shouldn’t matter what colour a person’s skin is, in any industry the best person for the job should get it and that has to apply in football ­management as well.

It should have been all along, of course, but there is, and always has been, a ­disconnect ­between owners and black former players.

If men as decorated as Cole and Campbell face a struggle, it’s even harder for those who weren’t very good to get an audience with owners.

Yet Sean Dyche, Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson weren’t very good players and they all had ­opportunities that black players will never get.

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What I would love to see now is the ­networking events between owners and black former players being organised in a bid to can break down some of the barriers. And I would also like to see a system introduced whereby owners are sent nameless CVs so the top five ­applicants are whittled down based solely on their achievements and not their sex or where they might be from.

Some of you might not like the analogy but it needs to be more like The Voice, where ­talent, not someone you like, gets them the gig.

Because there are nowhere near enough black managers in the game.

And those who have at least ­managed to get a job have to start at the bottom, while white peers start at the top.

That, sadly, is racism, however you carve it up.

source.



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