Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Release

Radio 5 Live documentary examines lack of black managers in English football

Senior black football players fear they cannot speak openly about the lack of black football managers in the English game in case they are labelled "difficult" a major BBC Radio 5 Live documentary airing tonight finds.

Some of the foremost black players of the last 20 years talk about their experiences and those of other black players and potential managers in Total Blackout on 5 Live tonight at 8pm.

Former England players John Barnes, Sol Campbell, Paul Ince and Les Ferdinand; as well as former Brentford manager Leroy Rosinior are among those who talk to Jonathan Joseph (Spoony) about the prospects for black players to become managers.

The programme discusses ways forward in the game for potential black managers, including whether as the PFA have suggested the UK needs to adopt the Rooney rule, which states that you should interview one black or ethnic minority candidate for management and coaching jobs. The NFL implemented the rule with success in 2002.

Many feel the late Keith Alexander of Macclesfield Town wasn't given the opportunities he deserved and thereby feel they wouldn't fare much better if they tried for management. Paul Ince says he looked up to Alexander and the fact he wasn't managing at a higher level mystified him. Keith passed away last year in March. His son Matt Alexander is also interviewed for the documentary.

Leroy Rosinior says some of the issues relate to desire amongst black players themselves. The ex-Fulham player, former manager at Brentford and Torquay says: "If you want to do this job you've got to be passionate about it as there aren't any role models; it's because I had a passion for it. I was the only black man in Torquay. Now I've got loads of great of friends in Torquay... it's the best thing I ever did.

Total Black out produced by Input Media North presented by Spoony airs on BBC Radio 5 Live tonight at 8pm.


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