Colour blindness: Viera sacking leaves Premier League without a single black manager

March 20 – The sacking of Patrick Vieira as manager of Crystal Palace means there is not a single black manager in charge of any men’s or women’s top-flight teams in English football.

Vieira, a 1998 World Cup winner with France, became the ninth Premier League boss to be dismissed this season when he was shown the door on Friday after 18 months in charge.

Vieira guided Palace to 12th in the Premier League last season but the club had failed to win any of its last 12 games in all competitions and had slipped dangerously towards the relegation zone. With Vieira no longer in the hotseat, 12 became 13 when Palace were trounced 4-1 by Arsenal on Sunday – ironically the club where he made his name as a player.

According to data from England’s Black Footballers Partnership,  only 4.4% of those in managerial roles typically filled by ex-players in England’s top four divisions are black.

Ironically just a couple of days before being dismissed, Vieira told The Financial Times: “There is a lack of opportunity, there is a lack of trust, there is a lack of confidence.”

“I heard so many excuses like black ex-players don’t want to do their [coaching] badges, but it is not true.”

“Those opportunities are not there. Those doors are not open. And when the doors are not open and the opportunities are not there, it’s difficult for you to show your passion and show how good you can be.”

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