England news

Campbell: Racism blocks black coaches

September 27, 2013
By ESPN staff

Former Tottenham, Arsenal and England defender Sol Campbell has said he may have to go abroad to move into coaching because of "archaic" prejudice and his "broken" relationship with the Football Association.

Sol Campbell
GettyImages Campbell: 'I hope and pray the environment changes.'

Campbell, who won 73 England caps, is working towards gaining UEFA's A-licence, the game's second-highest coaching qualification.

But he believes prevailing attitudes in the professional game mean "there are no opportunities" for him in a country where only four black managers -- Chris Hughton, Paul Ince, Chris Powell and Chris Kiwomya -- work in the top four divisions.

"I want to start abroad," Campbell told The Guardian. "There are no opportunities for me here -- not until attitudes change, anyway.

"Everyone has to ask themselves why there are not more black managers in this country, and why the likes of Brian Deane [the former Sheffield United and Leeds forward, now working in Norway] have to go abroad to get a chance.

"I've spoken to other black players who want to coach, and they feel the same -- that attitudes here are archaic. I hope and pray the environment changes."

Campbell also hit out at the FA, saying he had given his "heart and soul" for the England team but accusing English football's governing body of turning its back on him when he had "problems" about which he did not divulge details.

"They tried to help me afterwards, but they were never proactive," he added. "Even after that, I still wanted to do something with the England setup, and they said they were interested, but the interest went cold.

"Suddenly, Gary Neville pops up as assistant manager. It's obvious they want nice people who won't cause them any problems. I put out an olive branch and it got broken, but I'm ready to move on."