Unqualified Campbell blames racism for lack of coaching opportunities

by James Clancy

CampbellFormer Arsenal, Portsmouth and Tottenham defender Sol Campbell (pictured) has spoken out about what he perceives as racial prejudices that exist in England against black managers.

The 39 year-old, who is currently working towards earning his coaching badges, says that he might have to leave Britain in search of managerial opportunities because “attitudes here are archaic.”

From start to finish, the process of attaining his coaching badges is likely to take three years and Campbell believes that upon completion he will have to leave Britain to begin his new career.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Campbell said, “Everyone has to ask themselves why there are not more black managers in this country and why the likes of [former Sheffield United striker] Brian Deane have to go abroad [to Sarpsborg 08 in Norway] to get a chance.”

In his 19 year playing career which ended in May 2012, Campbell represented England 73 times , played at three World Cups and won two Premier League titles with Arsenal whilst playing for the Gunners almost 200 times and scoring in the 2006 Champions League final for the north Londoners.

While the Englishman’s assertion is backed by the fact that Chris Hughton, Chris Powell, Paul Ince and Chris Kiwomya are the only four black managers in all of Britain’s 92 professional clubs, Campbell’s opinion may also be biased owing to his own bitter experience at the hands of the English Football Association. Despite trying to repeatedly get into the England set-up, Campbell was overlooked in favour of Gary Neville for the job of assistant manager. The perceived betrayal has been a hard pill to swallow for the former centre back ever since.

“I want to start abroad,” Campbell told Sky Sports News this weekend. “There are no opportunities for me here, not until attitudes change anyway.

“I’ve spoken to other black players who want to coach and they feel the same, that attitudes here are archaic. I hope and pray the environment changes.”

He added: “I gave my heart and soul for the national team but the FA were not there for me when I had problems.

“Even after that, I still wanted to do something with the England setup, and they said they were interested, but the interest went cold.

“Suddenly, Gary Neville pops up as assistant manager. It’s obvious they want nice people who won’t cause them any problems. I put out an olive branch and it got broken, but whatever, I’m ready to move on.”

Author Info

James Clancy

James Clancy

A qualified Irish football journalist and photographer with an interest in all aspects and all of football. My knowledge is dominated by (but certainly not limited to) Irish and British football issues; contemporary, nostalgic, current affairs and quirky. Being a youngster during the 1990 World Cup has also given me a soft spot for Italy and Italian football ever since. Twitter: @hoogenband0110 Email: james@hoogensports.com

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4 Responses

  1. Ross says:

    “While the Englishman’s assertion is backed by the fact that Chris Hughton, Chris Powell, Paul Ince and Chris Kiwomya are the only four black managers in all of Britain’s 92 professional clubs”

    So that’s what 4.5%? For a minority that makes up 3-5% of the population. Hardly backing up a claim of racism.

  2. Mark says:

    This article has no agenda? How many people have managed in the football league without a single coaching qualification who also hadn’t captained their club and country, scored in a champions league final and made a Fifa team of the tournament at the world cup? What a terrible headline!

    Is this the only reason why the Sol is being overlooked? No. Is it a factor? Probably. Is it clear that the number of players that go on in to coaching of any type, so not just the managers is pitiful. Jobs for the boys and nepotism are probably as big an issue.

    As for Ross…

    Lies, damn lies and then there are your statistics. Pretty much every manager in our professional game played football as a pro too. The representation in the subordinate roles in football, hell even in the England team, is a damn sight more than higher than the derisory 4.5% you quote.

  3. Karl Hodgkins says:

    I have no doubt that over Sol’s football career he has experienced a lot of racism, but I feel he is using it as an excuse, he is compaining that Neville has got the England assistant managers job over him even though Neville is qualified and he is not yet. The top non white manager in England is actually Noel Blake and he is the under nineteens manager. I would say to Sol stop being bitter get qualified and go for the interviews for jobs like the rest of us and do not expect to jump the queue because of colour.

  4. Ntk says:

    Stupid headline. Atleast I know where this writer stands.

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