Chris Ramsey: Queens Park Rangers technical director fears for current BAME coaches
QPR technical director Chris Ramsey
Chris Ramsey’s spell as QPR boss saw him manage in the Premier League

Chris Ramsey fears a generation of black coaches and managers will miss out on a career unless more is done to create opportunities for them.

The QPR technical director says attempts to increase the number of managers from BAME backgrounds are taking too long to deliver results.

He said: “For years we’ve had people saying we’re going to address this.

“A lot of the promises and things we thought were going to pan out, when is it ever going to come to fruition?”

Ramsey, 58, has been at the forefront of trying to help increase the number of black coaches and managers.

He was awarded an MBE last year for services to football and diversity in sport.

The former Brighton right-back worked for the Football Association as a regional director of coaching and subsequently had a spell in charge of the England Under-20 side.

He later spent a decade at Tottenham and is credited with playing a major part in the development of several homegrown players at the north London club.

‘Nothing has really changed’

Ramsey, who had a stint as QPR head coach in 2015, told BBC Sport: “I’ve been fortunate because I’ve had a career.

“What I’m saying to younger black coaches is this: don’t be 58, looking back and thinking ‘where did my career go at 38 while we were still trying to put things into place?’

“I’ve been talking to a group of younger black coaches and I’ve been sending them articles they initially think are recent and then see they’re from 20 years ago.

“I’ve got letters saying ‘we’ve got to do this and got to do that and things have got to change’ from the year 2000 and from 1999.

“Nothing has really changed. I understand that a few initiatives have been put together that may change things, but with a lot of them there’s no end product.

“The biggest problem is that people who don’t understand the history think you’re being radical.”

QPR director of football Les Ferdinand and technical director Chris Ramsey (right)
Chris Ramsey works alongside QPR legend, the club’s director of football Les Ferdinand

The English Football League (EFL) has a policy – informally known as the ‘Rooney Rule’ – that clubs must interview at least one BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) candidate for a managerial vacancy.

But that is not necessary if they do not have a shortlisting process and interview only one candidate.

The Premier League, meanwhile, has not introduced a version of the Rooney Rule, which is named after the NFL diversity committee chairman Dan Rooney, who spearheaded a policy that clubs in American football should interview at least one BAME candidate for each head coach or senior football operation vacancy.

Ramsey remains frustrated but believes top-level players such as Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford speaking out on the issue could make a difference.

Ramsey said: “The [Rooney Rule] idea was presented at a forum by [former England midfielder] Ricky Hill years ago. I would have been 41 or 42. We’re still talking about it now and I’m 58.

“It’s not about doing the Rooney Rule in its truest essence, it’s about a version of it. Nobody just wants to be a quota – a token interviewee.

“What there needs to be is an acknowledgment that we’re all British and we’re considering everybody.

“I also don’t like the concept of visibility. Years ago there were only a few black coaches on the scene but now there are lots who have done their badges. We don’t need visibility. What we need is to be given the jobs.

“People like to say the right things. I’ve always talked about politically correct language but racist actions.

“When I’m sitting in a waiting room waiting to be interviewed, I don’t care about a guy’s politics, I just want to be given a fair crack of the whip.

“What I don’t want is someone speaking in fluffy, PC language, saying all the right things but with no intention of giving me the job.

“A lot of people are getting away with that – political correctness. Don’t fluff things over.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here