An initiative aimed at increasing the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) coaches in English football has been launched by the Premier League, Football League and PFA.
The move followed comments from high-profile players such as Manchester City's Raheem Sterling who said few black players make the progression into full-time coaching roles.
Under the new “player-to-coach placement scheme” funded by the Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), up to six placements will be available per season with EFL clubs.
The placements, open to any PFA member whatever age or stage of their career, will last 23 months and begin either in the club's academy or first-team environment from next season.
“It is vital that there are no barriers to entry to the pipelines for employment in coaching,” Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said in a statement.
“We need more BAME coaches entering the system to create greater opportunities throughout the professional game.”
Sterling's comments are backed up by figures which show only six head coaches in England’s 92 clubs are from the BAME community. More than a quarter of players in the Premier League are either black or mixed race.
Former West Bromwich Albion coach Darren Moore is one of them. He is now in charge of third-tier Doncaster Rovers as well as chair of the Premier League’s Black Participants’ Advisory Group.
“This is a critical time for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic coaches,” Moore said. “We all know and agree that the diversity of coaches and managers must increase and this placement scheme represents a positive step.
“I know from my own experiences the value of strong support throughout the coaching journey, which is why I, alongside other senior coaches and former players, will be drawing on our collective expertise to provide guidance to those making the transition into coaching in the professional environment.”
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