English stakeholders take ‘small’ step with player-to-coach accelerator for BAME players

June 30 – English football stakeholders have joined forces to help BAME players move into full-time coaching roles in the professional game.

The Premier League, English Football League and Professional Footballers’ Association have announced a new scheme to increase the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic coaches.

Right now only six of the 91 Premier League and EFL managers or head coaches are from BAME backgrounds and the player-to-coach scheme will assist players make the transition at the end of their playing careers.

Sanjay Bhandari, the chairman of football’s anti-racism campaign, Kick It Out, described it as “a welcome small step in the right direction”.

“But it’s not the giant leap forward that we need,” he added, stressing that he would also be supporting a new voluntary code for all clubs.

The scheme will be open to all PFA members from a black, Asian or other ethnic minority background and will initially provide up to six coaches per season with a 23-month placement at an EFL club.

The lack of representation of BAME people in senior football leadership roles has been in the spotlight because of the increased focus worldwide on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“It is vital that there are no barriers to entry to the pipelines for employment in coaching,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.

“We need more BAME coaches entering the system to create greater opportunities throughout the professional game.”

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