‘All Snakes and no Ladders’ – facing black football managers
March 22, 2024
‘All Snakes and no Ladders’ – facing black football managers

Black footballers in English football face racial discrimination in making progress in their careers. This has come out in a report commissioned by the Black Footballers Partnership (BFP), an organisation of present and former black footballers.

The Report states that non-black footballers are 50% more likely to get positions in football management than their black counterparts. It was conducted by three academics who examined the off-the-pitch careers of about 3500 former footballers who played in the top two leagues of English professional football between 1990 and 2010. It found that despite black players making up 25% of UEFA coaching qualifications, in 2022 and 2023 they accounted for only 4% of managerial roles.

So bad is the situation that Delroy Corinaldi, executive Director of the BFP describes the situation in these terms: “A career in football management often looks like a game of Snakes and Ladders, but for black plyers, it’s pretty much all snakes and no ladders”.

The Report summarises the position of black ex-players where management is concerned as getting fewer chances at management, slower promotion and getting fired quicker than their non-black counterparts, none of which are related to performance.

It reinforces the increasingly gloomy image of racism in British sport. Just last year an exhaustive enquiry found evidence of racism in British cricket and one of its leading counties, Yorkshire faced serious accusations of racial discrimination.