Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quote of the day

"Chris Hughton is a pioneering figure whose achievements we hope will be recognised for years to come. As the first black manager to achieve such heights, we feel this is worthy of recognition."

Congratulations to our gaffer, honoured with an award from the Kick It Out campaign and lauded by the organisation's chair and founder Lord Herman Ouseley. For his part, Hughton lamented the lack of fellow black managers, rightly noting the staggering "imbalance between those playing and those going into coaching", but declared he would be delighted to "be a positive influence on anyone coming through".

Hughton also commented on his personal experience of racism: "For me, as someone who played in the 70s and 80s, seeing the racism around on the terraces then, things have improved dramatically". Interesting he should say that in the light of an article on Viv Anderson, famously the first black footballer to represent England, in the latest issue of the Football Supporters' Federation magazine The Football Supporter, in which Anderson pointedly talks about suffering "unbelievable" abuse and "mass taunts" in an atmosphere that was "beyond hostile" in his first away game for Forest. The venue? St James'. A grim reminder of a shameful past that thankfully has been left long behind - and of the fact that dewy-eyed reminiscences of football's halcyon days are to be mistrusted.
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3 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

I'm kind of curious on what you (being English) think of something I feel is odd here in the States in the NFL.

They actually have a NFL rule that states that when you're interviewing for a new head coach you must interview at least one minority. The idea is to hopefully have more black coaches. I personally think that it's a stupid rule (interviewing should be color blind and I don't think someone should tell me who I have to interview).

How do you think clubs would deal with this if the FA put something similar into place?

Bob

7:05 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

I'm not sure what the answer is (it just seems that, for whatever reason, the climate isn't conducive to black managers), but like you I doubt it's positive discrimination - Hughton certainly isn't, having said "It’s important that anyone who gets there is there on merit".

At the moment it's a bit like a never-ending cycle - there are pitifully few black managers, which in turn dissuades black players (and others) from pursuing that career path, which results in few black managers... It's to be hoped that Hughton and the likes of Paul Ince and the late Keith Alexander can be positive examples to others.

1:47 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

Not to mention even fewer black faces at boardroom level.

I think it's inevitably going to be a bottom-up process. As players become coaches it should lead to managers and potentially owners coming through.

I don't think positive discrimination works, and you only have to look at the almost continual mess made in administering sports in South Africa to see the harm which can be caused positive discrimination and the introduction of a quota system.

9:48 am  

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