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Northern Ireland Kick It Out says new BAME coaches scheme is ‘not the giant leap’ needed


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Northern Ireland Kick It Out says new BAME coaches scheme is ‘not the giant leap’ needed

Media playback is not supported on this device There are not enough black coaches – PuncheonA new scheme to increase the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic coaches is “not the giant leap” needed, says Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari.The Premier League, English Football League and Professional Footballers’ Association scheme aims to help…

Northern Ireland Kick It Out says new BAME coaches scheme is ‘not the giant leap’ needed

Northern Ireland

Media playback is not supported on this device

There are not enough black coaches – Puncheon

A new scheme to increase the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic coaches is “not the giant leap” needed, says Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari.

The Premier League, English Football League and Professional Footballers’ Association scheme aims to help BAME players become full-time coaches.

At present there only five BAME managers across the top flight and EFL.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Bhandari said: “By 2025 we need 20% of boards to be people of colour and 25% of coaches.”

The 2011 census showed that about 14.5% of the population in England was from a BAME background, while in 2016, the Office for National Statistics estimated that the figure had increased to about 15.4% of the population.

Similar breakdowns by ethnicity for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are not currently available.

Bhandari, who replaced founder Lord Herman Ouseley as the chairman of the anti-discrimination charity in 2019, added: “This is one initiative, but actually what you need is this replicated across 92 clubs.

“[It is] useful, helpful and small step forward, but not the giant leap that we need – so this should be part of a much bigger strategy. It is part of the answer but not the whole answer.”

The initiative, which was announced on Monday and will start next season, will give six coaches a 23-month work placement at EFL clubs per campaign.

PFA members at any age or stage in their careers can apply.

“This is a critical time for black, Asian and minority ethnic coaches,” said Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Moore, who is chair of the Premier League’s black participants’ advisory group.

“We all know and agree that the diversity of coaches and managers must increase and this placement scheme represents a positive step.

“There are lots of roles in the academy system, all the way through to first team, and young coaches can slot in at different points to begin that journey.

“We need to have the right structures and people in place to develop their careers. I know from my own experiences the value of strong support throughout the coaching journey.”

Ex-Crystal Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon told BBC Sport there needed to be “a bigger change”.

Puncheon, who wants to move into coaching after retirement, said black coaches and managers “get written off too soon”.

He added: “We want to get to a stage when the Rashfords, the Sterlings, the Lingards, the Kyle Walkers, are retiring that they are walking into a managerial job like normal. And it’s not looked upon differently. That’s where we need to be heading to for me personally.

The new scheme, supported by the Football Association, is jointly funded by the Premier League and the PFA, with bursaries to each participant from the placement club.

Candidates must have a minimum of a Uefa B qualification and commit to Uefa A coaching licence.

They must also take the FA Advanced Youth Award and will be selected following panel and individual club interviews.

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

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