Pathways into football for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) coaches was under the spotlight at The FA premiere of a brand new film at Wembley Stadium today.
Backed by the Premier League, Football League, League Managers' Association (LMA), Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and Kick It Out, the eleven-minute film is titled 'COACH' and features interviews with England coaches Noel Blake and Hope Powell plus Birmingham City’s Chris Hughton and Chris Powell of Charlton Athletic.
FA consultant Brendon Batson has managed the production of COACH on behalf of The Football Association with the film aiming to show coaching as a full-time career for the BME community while promoting Black and Minority Ethnic coaches as role models. Through highlighting coaching opportunities to the BME community, The FA hopes to encourage greater participation at grassroots level and guide aspiring coaches towards the relevant qualifications on the coaching pathway.
FA Chairman David Bernstein said: “COACH highlights the need for coaches to gain their qualifications and make the most of the opportunities available to them.
"We’re very lucky at The Football Association to have Noel Blake and Hope Powell working within our national setup at Wembley Stadium.
“We want football to be able to draw on coaches from the widest possible talent pool and I hope that the COACH film will inspire a new generation of BME coaches to follow in Noel and Hope’s footsteps.”
Meanwhile, Premier League General Secretary Nic Coward said: “Quality coaching is vitally important and we all want to see coaches of the best ability being given the opportunity to progress in the game regardless of their backgrounds."
Football League Chairman Greg Clarke added: “The Football League fully supports this initiative as it is vitally important that the game does everything it can to help coaches from all backgrounds reach their full potential. In turn, this will make sure that the very best coaches are available to the English game and help move us forward.”
Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the LMA, commented: “The COACH film is a fantastic production which provides valuable information and highlights coaching opportunities to the BME community.
“The LMA is committed to equal opportunities for football managers and coaches. Football and football management continues to make steps on the journey towards diversity and the LMA is committed to working with all the stakeholders to ensure there is a level playing field for all.”
The PFA’s Bobby Barnes also welcomes the message behind the film and hopes it has a long term impact for PFA members: “As the players representative we have long been aware of the frustrations of previous generations of excellent former black players unable to make the step from the pitch to the dugout," he said.
“As long ago as 2003 we launched the Black Players' Coaching Forum with the aim of encouraging players to gain the necessary qualifications to pursue a career in coaching and management. We applaud any effort to make the game more inclusive and accessible to all.”
Kick It Out will be represented by Lord Ouseley at the launch of COACH: "Kick It Out has been highlighting for many years the ex-professional black players who may have been discouraged from becoming coaches and managers in football. Therefore, the campaign welcomes this whole game initiative to kick start a new era,” said the Chairman of the anti-racism in football organisation.
"It is refreshing to find all the football authorities and leagues united in their desire to encourage, nurture, guide and develop individuals from all backgrounds to use their skills and experiences as coaches to put something back and bring benefits to the game."
For more information log onto TheFA.com/Coach
Play The FA hosted event at Wembley to help raise number of black and Asian coaches.
FA film aims to increase numbers of black and minority ethnic coaches.