Posted on July 6, 2011

Fans Blame Racism for Lack of Black Managers in England

Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2011

More than half the respondents to an online poll of 1,000 soccer fans including current and former players believe racism is the reason for the lack of black managers in English soccer.

The poll was designed and conducted by Ellis Cashmore and Jamie Cleland from Staffordshire University and their conclusions published in the journal “Ethnic and Racial Studies” (

“The number of black and minority ethnic managers in English professional soccer has been stable for nearly 10 years,” Cashmore and Cleland wrote.

“There are usually between two and four (out of a possible 92). Yet black players regularly make up more than a quarter of professional club squad.

“The findings indicate 56 percent of respondents believe racism operates at the executive levels of football, i.e. the boardroom.

“While some accuse club owners of directors of deliberate discrimination, most suspect a form of unwitting or institutional racism in which assumptions about black people’s capacities are not analysed and challenged and continue to circulate.”


The authors said soccer had turned into an entertainment industry in recent years.

“If it were a circus, black players would be part of its main attraction: like lions perhaps, but rarely lion tamers and never ringmasters,” they concluded.