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THE FUTURE FOOTBALL AGENCY
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BLACK MANAGERS STILL NOT GETTING THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES AS WHITE MANAGERS, SAYS VIV ANDERSON

VIV ANDERSON says football should “try anything” to ensure more black managers are given a chance in England.

The former Nottingham Forest, Arsenal, Manchester United and Sheffield Wednesday defender was the first black footballer to represent the full England side 40 years ago last month.

And he told The Fan Agency’s Football Insiders podcast that while football has moved on from routine racist abuse from the terraces and stereotyping around black players’ attitude and ability, an issue remains in management opportunities.

In an exclusive 50-minute interview that also featured former Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson, he said: “We can go back 25 years to when Keith Alexander was the first black manager at Lincoln City.

“Everyone said it would be the start of a new revolution yet 25 years on we’re still no further forward.

“The preconception now is they [black footballers] can play football, in all weathers, but they don’t make good managers. They haven’t been given the opportunity.

“As long as you’ve got the qualifications you should be given the opportunity. If The Rooney Rule is the catalyst to give them the opportunity – and it’s not just ticking a box – try anything.”

The Rooney Rule requires at least one candidate from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background to be interviewed for every coaching role.

It is has been adopted by the FA but not yet by the Premier League, and only on a voluntary basis by the English Football League. 

Former England defender Sol Campbell was appointed manager of League Two side Macclesfield Town last month, becoming one of only eight BAME managers at England’s 92 league clubs.

Less than two years ago the figure was just two.

Since 1990 Campbell is only the sixth black man to play for England and then go into management.

Anderson, who managed Barnsley in the early 90s before becoming Bryan Robson’s assistant at Middlesbrough, also revealed on Football Insiders how legendary Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough told him to stand up to racist abuse from the terraces in the early years of his career.

He said: “One of my early games we went to Carlisle, I was sub.

“Cloughie says, ‘Anderson, warm up’. So I warm up. Five minutes later I’m sat back down and he looks and goes, ‘I thought I told you to warm up?’.

“I say, ‘I have been, but they’re throwing apples, pears and bananas at me. He goes, ‘Get back out there and get me two pears and a banana’.

“I didn’t get on but he pulled me afterwards and said, ‘if you listen to anyone on the terraces, you’re no good to me and you’re not going to make a career out of it’. So I took that on board really early on and it never ever bothered me.”

Anderson talks more about his the early years of his career, his historic debut for England, winning back-to-back European Cups and kicking George Best in the full episode of Football Insiders, which you can listen to here.

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