‘To be the only black manager in all the divisions is really disappointing’ - Norwich City chief Chris Hughton

Chris Powell's Charlton dismissal was 'harsh' according to Chris Hughton. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. Chris Powell's Charlton dismissal was 'harsh' according to Chris Hughton. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.

Friday, March 14, 2014
6:00 AM

Chris Hughton is urging football’s powerbrokers to re-double their efforts to get more black managers into the professional game.

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Hughton admitted on Thursday Charlton’s decision to dismiss Chris Powell earlier this week brought into sharp focus the lack of ethnic diversity at the elite level.

The City chief is now the only black manager working in the top four divisions of English football and Hughton knows that is a trend which needs to be addressed.

“To be the only black manager in all the divisions is really disappointing,” he said. “It is something that people within the game, from the clubs to the FA and all the footballing bodies, have to work at.

“There is no doubt there is a massive imbalance compared to the number of players from black and ethnic backgrounds who then go into management and coaching.

“I can only probably tell you what I feel and how I see this situation and it is very, very disappointing. I genuinely believe we have seen great strides in terms of involvement in wider football circles with black and ethnic players who are still part of the game. I see far more on the circuit now than I would have a few years ago. From that side it is encouraging to see, not just coaching at a lower level but in all areas of the media and agency work.

“What is very disappointing is the next step in trying to raise those percentages. We all have a responsibility in the game to work at this and to continue to evaluate why that is the case.”

Hughton has dismissed the notion of positive discrimination when it comes to appointing managers from black and ethnic backgrounds.

“No, I think we always feel it should be through education and courses rather than quotas or some type of legal stipulation,” he said.

“What we have found is there are far more black and ethnic coaches involved at lesser levels, maybe working at the grassroots or as part of academy set-ups.

“Those percentages do not apply to first-team management, so we must continue to strive to find out the reasons why and to make sure we implement the right policies.

“I very much hope it is only a matter of time, and I have seen some very significant work at lower levels. It is good to see that. We now have to take it to the next step and into mainstream management.

“I would like to think in time that work will bear fruit but there is no question it is disappointing at this moment in time.”

Hughton accepted Powell’s dismissal underlined the precarious nature of his profession after guiding the Addicks to promotion from League One last season and also a run to this season’s FA Cup quarter-finals.

“In the modern football world it comes as no real surprise but there certainly seems to be less and less patience,” he said. “I think Chris was a popular figure there, which shouldn’t have a bearing, but if he wasn’t the longest-serving manager in that division then he wasn’t far away. I think they had two takeovers in the last three years, he lost a lot of players as well and then it becomes a difficult job. Taking all that into consideration it is very, very harsh.”

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49 comments

  • Judging by the vast majority of similarly worded posts, I think my initial one is vindicated. But I am left with a couple of questions for Pierre. What makes you think the large number of excellent black players are being overlooked for management posts? And what evidence do you have that they are actually applying for them?

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    Mel Lacey

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • This is right, TK. Just as RVB left Spurs, Malky left Cardiff, hordes left Fulham, Steve K left WBA, Laudrup left Swansea, Di Canio left Sunderland, Atkins left Soton, Sammy Dack left Nogdam End, and Jesus ascended to Heaven again. Is there a pattern? Failure, maybe.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • If Hughton doesn't buck his ideas up, there will be NO black managers .

    Report this comment

    Rottsrool

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Why is Hughton bringing up the issue of race? One would hope that Managers are appointed and retain their position on ability and ability alone rather than the colour of their skin.

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    kenfoggo

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Now, now, Blaff. Not like you to play the peddant card. On poor BPbp, too. Shame on you! ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Strange that, ! didnt realise he was a manager !,ah well you learn something every day.

    Report this comment

    nelly

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Who cares about colour you plonker

    Report this comment

    spark

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Thanks Bally and TK.

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    el dingo

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Equality does not = Competence

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    AC Canary

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Strange that, ! didnt realise he was a manager !,ah well you learn something every day.

    Report this comment

    nelly

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • There's a lot of ignorance here. Hughton sees himself as black so why bring up mixed race and all that nonsense - he's black. He's not trying to play the 'race card' and clearly only one black manager in 92 clubs suggests that when it comes to management there is racism in the boardrooms of English clubs, probably institutional racism. In the NFL the Rooney rule was adopted in 2003. It meant that at least one black or ethnic minority candidate had to be interviewed for the position of head coach and other senior football positions. In 2014 13 out of the 32 clubs are led by a minority head coach or manager. It was controversial at the time, but clearly these coaches are there on merit. Perhaps we should introduce something like that in the English league.

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    pablo

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Why bring it to the attention ,who care or even notices.

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    spark

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Spark, I think the people who care are the good aspiring black managers who can't get a job...

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    Pierre

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Totally irrelevant, I just hope the colour of his skin being "the only one" in the league isn't the reason we keep him come the summer!

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    kevin

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • BUT, Bally High, his name is Hughton. Do please concentrate at the back. Also, if Chris`s mum is Irish and his dad is West Indian, is he no more white than brown? What a load of retro- PC nonsense. Who was our elected Player of the Season last term? Did we not love Dion Dublin? Simeon Jackson? Justin Fashanu? Did Paul Ince prove to be a manager of high principle? Like Mussolini.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Really greenman ! never thought of that,maybe it locked up and i refreshed it !

    Report this comment

    nelly

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Promising, BP2, very promising. Take a B+ for creativity ............and a C- for abysmal spelling.

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    User Removed

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • What Hughton really means is that he is so disappointed that the Norwich board has not yet sacked him so he can have eighteen months sat on his backside on full pay.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Half our current first team are black, but if anyone said that was a disproportionately high percentage,they would rightly be condemned as racist. Skin colour doesn't matter. Staying in the Premiership does. Move on.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Matt is right there are very few English managers making a success irrespective of their colour. Always disappointing when people play the r@ce card - especially when they are trying to flog a book. Barking - will keep you posted re the Plasterers. Are you local or travelling aboard the Neeves express ?

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • More pressure on the Board not to sack him.

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    jigs69

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Some very good points made here especially by the likes of El Dingo. I for one dislike the term black as most of the darker skinned players and our manager are in fact just a shade of brown. Many players from Spain, Italy etc also have tanned skins. I for one think our manager has reached his sell by date because he cannot get the team to play attractive winning football. I consider him to be English as he was born in London and probably holds a British passport but it could equally be and Irish version. I want to see English managers at the English clubs so would like to see another Englishman put in charge, the tan of his skin is irrelevant to me, in fact I often thought Dublin would make a fine manager but he chose TV instead.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • el dingo, I hope I didn`t give the wrong impression there - I agree with you. It makes me very cross when the sleazy press make capital out of the `R` card. I spent too many years in `ethnically diverse` environments to give that tosh any credence. Shameful.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Don't know why previous attempts to post have not made it, but there's some ignorant stuff here. If Hughton says he's black, he's black. There's clearly institutional racism in the English league. In 2011 over 25% players were black, but virtually no managers. In the NFL they introduced Rooney's rule which said that for any management or coaching jobs there had to be one candidate of a different ethnicity than white selected for interview. By 2011 13 out of 32 clubs in the NFL were led by a minority coach. I know both Hughton and Wenger are against this, but is it worth a try?

    Report this comment

    pablo

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • I`ve worried about this outcome. Really. It is cheap and tawdry. Not Hughton`s fault but he should distance himself from it. Not be sucked in. El dingo, I didn`t like Glenn Roeder, Bryan Gunn or Peter Grant. Pasty people! I put the responsibility for this nonsense firmly with the cheap pressmen. You could see this coming a mile off. Sol Campbell is a charlatan.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • A timely comment..last ditch now mr hughton

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    AC Canary

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Perhaps tomorrow, Nelly, you'l learn to only press the "submit" button once!

    Report this comment

    Green man

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • At least Powell looks a bit angry at the seagull what nicked his burger!!

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    tom the taxi

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Why is Chris mentioning colour,is he really black or mixed race,i thought his mother was white Irish,is he disreguarding his white roots?

    Report this comment

    timbo

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Well said Cecil and Pierre! Re the future, how about Hughton remaining as manager but with coaching staff comprising Dion D and Hux??

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    Green man

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Well said Spark. I tried to say something similar 4 times but I was thwarted by another plonker. Anyway, you said it better.

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    User Removed

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • What Hughton really means is that he is so disappointed that the Norwich board has not yet sacked him so he can have eighteen months sat on his backside on full pay.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Presumably Charlton dismissed Powell because of his failings and it had nothing to do with his ethnicity - as should be the case with all failing, newly appointed or successful managers. Ability is of paramount importance and race should never play a part in the decision making.

    Report this comment

    Mel Lacey

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Colour does not matter. Quality does. I like Brad Johnson, I like Martin Olsson, I like Alex Tettey I am not a fan of CH. Let the pc police work that one out.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Very odd that I've tried to post a comment 5 times and it hasn't made it whilst my comment after todays match went straight on. Race and censorship? there seem to be a few dubious comments on here anyway. Why not have at least one ethnic minority candidate in all interviews for coaching and managing jobs in the English league as they do in the NFL, where, by 2011 over a third of coaches and managers were black (Rooneys rule introduced in 2003)

    Report this comment

    pablo

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • There are a lot of ignorant and snidey comments on this. If Chris Hughton thinks he is black, then he is black. The bigger point is about the lack of black managers in the English league and at the very least institutional racism is going on - after all more than 25% of players in the English league are black (2011 figure). The NFL in the US introduced Rooney's law in 2003. It said that for every interview for coaching and managing at that level, there should be at least one ethnic minority candidate. In 2011 13 out of 32 clubs in the NFL were led by a minority head coach or manager. So given the chance representation of ethnic minorities went up. Hughton and Wenger both rule out this approach here, but maybe the EPL and the Football League should introduce it if they genuinely want to increase the amount of black managers and coaches.

    Report this comment

    pablo

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Mel I was really just drawing your attention to what CH was saying. “What we have found is there are far more black and ethnic coaches involved at lesser levels, maybe working at the grassroots or as part of academy set-ups. “Those percentages do not apply to first-team management, so we must continue to strive to find out the reasons why and to make sure we implement the right policies." I agree it is possible that talented black footballers opt to become Judges or bankers after their playing days are over. I am not taking sides on the point, merely suggesting the question is posed and considered.

    Report this comment

    Pierre

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • @kenfoggo - I assume some hack asked the him the question in the vain hope that he would have a different answer to the normal drivel he spouts regarding most footballing questions. Bad luck...Great opposition ... hard to play against 10 men... we were very good up to the point where they scored 4 goals in 17 minutes... you know usual rubbish. What everybody wants to know is why he is still in a job!

    Report this comment

    JMH

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • That is indeed the theory Mel, but the question CH seems to be posing is why so many gifted, clever, committed, wily and successful black footballers get filtered out when it comes to the career change to management.

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    Pierre

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • To be fair I don't think anyone was trying to play the r@ce card, it is more likely that the question was put to Hoots as the media are pointing out he is the only black manager since Powell got the push...

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    GossVolley

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • What would be an interesting statistic is whether the same percentages of black and white players go for their coaching badges when they stop playing. I am against positive as well as negative discrimination. Appointments whether for managers or football pundits should be based on merit.

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    waclor

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • I could not care less if our next manager is sky blue pink, as long as he brings back good attractive winning football.

    Report this comment

    alan

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Well put Brew, likewise, Chris Powell lost his job at Charlton due to their current league position nothing more and nothing less.

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    TrevorKeith

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Oh dear, we have not played that card I hope. Sad, sad times if so. Its not so much about the colour of skin but in general the amount of UK managers coming through is low enough. That personally for me needs to be addressed. How many top flight english managers are there? How many UK managers ply their trade abroad or even try to.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • The point CH is making is about colour not nationality. They are separate issues. If there is only one black manager in all four English professional leagues, it is suggestive of, but not evidence of, racism. There is still racism in football and that is why colour matters, and why CH is right to raise the matter.

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    Cecil

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • This article is principally about fish. The give away clue being Powell's tie. It may look like a kipper but is infact a cunning disguise for a red herring, a smoked screen of halibut if ever there was one; designed to pull the wool over our eyes in the hope that we are distracted from continuing abbysmal performance. Trawling through the nets of the football league, will not enlighten us further. Just ask Eric about the sardines, and the scale of the problem.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Spot on El Dingo. Talent always rises above colour and it is a shame that once again, colour comes into an argument about getting to the top of a profession . Unless Chris Houghton can turn round this dire season and the manner of many defeats, he too will be out of job come the summer and it won't be because of his colour. I have seen far too many poor decisions or non decisions from our manager and his desire not to lose instead of win is written all his team tactics each week. I want to be proven wrong Chris. Start against Southampton this week.

    Report this comment

    Bally High

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • ….. You Know Chris...just because you were head hunted in the scramble to replace Lambert, and chosen, suggests you were selected on results you reached with former clubs, ahead of all the others that may have applied..Surely that is the criteria the board considered first .... Like buying a second hand car, a risk has to be taken ...They hoped for the best, but must have prepared for less than that....How do you feel about your achievements here?...What will be on your next CV?...If you are not chosen for the next vacancy, what reasons will you offer then?.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • The point CH is making is about colour not nationality. They are separate issues. If there is only one black manager in all four English professional leagues, it is suggestive of, but not evidence of, racism. There is still racism in football and that is why colour matters, and why CH is right to raise the matter.

    Report this comment

    Cecil

    Friday, March 14, 2014

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