Former black footballers are not getting the chance to become top managers, Raheem Sterling believes.
Citing the examples of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who have landed high level positions in the early stages of their managerial careers, the Manchester City forward has called on the English game to address its lack of black representation in positions of power.
Sterling believes Southend boss Campbell has not been given the same opportunities as his former England teammates Gerrard and Lampard
Cole won everything at Chelsea, including the Champions League in 2012
Sterling says Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole, who earned 180 England caps between them, have not had the same opportunities as their former teammates due to the colour of their skin.
Lampard became Chelsea manager last summer after a season in charge of Derby County, while Gerrards first job in his post-playing career has come at Scotland’s most successful domestic club, Rangers having worked as a youth coach at Liverpool.
Campbell, meanwhile started his managerial career in League Two with Macclesfield Town and now manages Southend United, who are in the third tier. Cole joined Chelsea’s academy coaching staff in 2019.
It’s a concern for 25-year-old Sterling, who made the comments during an appearance on the BBC’s political programme, Newsnight, in the wake of anti-racism protests that have taken hold across the world and where he also offered his support to those who have taken to the streets in the aftermath of civilian George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in America.
Sterling wants to see more retired black footballers given opportunities in management such as Lampard’s former teammates Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole, who works with Lampard at Chelsea
“This is a time to speak on these subjects, speak on injustice, especially in my field,” said Sterling.
“There’s something like 500 players in the Premier League and a third of them are black and we have no representation of us in the hierarchy, no representation of us in the coaching staffs. There’s not a lot of faces that we can relate to and have conversations with.
“With these protests that are going on it’s all well and good just talking, but it’s time that we need to have conversations, to be able to spark debates. But at same time, it’s coming together and finding a solution to be able to spark change because we can talk as much as we want about changing and putting people, black people, in these positions that I do feel they should be in.
Gerrard had been working as a youth coach at Liverpool when he was given the Rangers job in 2018
“I’ll give a perfect one. There’s Steven Gerrard, your Frank Lampards, you have your Sol Campbells and you have your Ashley Coles. All had great careers, all played for England. At the same time, they’ve all respectfully done their coaching badges to coach at the highest level and the two that haven’t been given the right opportunities are the two black former players.
“I feel like that’s what’s lacking here, it’s not just taking the knee, it is about giving people the chance they deserve.”
Sterling also suggested a more diverse mix is needed in the rooms governing the game.
Asked what would represent success for the change movement, he said: “When there’s more black people in positions.
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“When I can have someone from a black background for me to be able to go to in the FA with a problem I have within the club. These will be the times that I know that change is happening.”
Former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker Dwight Yorke had earlier revealed his struggle to land a job despite getting a hand from Sir Alex Ferguson.
He told beIN SPORTS: “I’ve applied for the Villa job twice now. I get one response from the CEO and his response to me was I need experience.
“Where am I going to go and get experience if I’m not being given a chance? When I applied for the Villa job, I went into [Ferguson’s] office and told him exactly what I was trying to do.
“He gave me some experience, he told me what I needed to do and I picked his brain. At the same time, he picked the phone up and rang Villa for me to give his recommendation. With his help, I still can’t get an interview. That is what we are facing.”