Sunday Supplement: Oli Holt says clubs are scared of appointing black managers
'Football has too many dinosaurs and outdated views'
Last Updated: 25/08/14 9:23am
Oliver Holt told the Sunday Supplement that football clubs “fear” appointing black managers.
Chris Hughton, Chris Powell and Chris Kiwomya were sacked from their posts at Norwich, Charlton and Notts County respectively last season, meaning there are now no black bosses in the Football League.
While this may be unpalatable to some people, we still don’t trust black people to run our football clubs.
And Mirror journalist Holt feels English sides do not place enough “trust” in black people to perform in decision-making positions.
“There are no black managers in our game at the moment and something is not right when we get a situation as stark as that,” said Holt.
“I think there is a fear and reluctance to appoint black managers because while we trust black people with their athletic ability, we don’t trust them in positions of responsibility.
“For a long time in American Football there was an issue where black players were trusted with being the running-back or the line-back, but they weren’t trusted as the quarter-back, a position where you run the game.
“And while this may be unpalatable to some people, we still don’t trust black people to run our football clubs.”
Issues of race have been at the forefront this week after it was revealed that offensive text messages had reportedly been shared between former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay and his ex-colleague Iain Moody.
The texts, which contained alleged racist, homophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic references, were dismissed by League Managers’ Association chief-executive Richard Bevan as “friendly banter”.
And Holt reckons Bevan’s statement proves that despite ample campaigns intended to rid football of discrimination, the sport remains “antiquated”.
“The response has tainted the LMA, exploded their reputation and left them looking like part of the problem and not part of any solution,” said Holt.
“This case peels away at the veneer of political correctness and shows that underneath that there is a real institutionalised problem in our game.
“There is an old-boys network, too many dinosaurs and not enough people who are willing to do something about it – and it is time that changed.
“We have modernised so much in our game in terms of marketing and sports science, but these views are so antiquated and if they are not the majority, then they are certainly widespread.”
Mackay, meanwhile, seemed primed to become the new boss of Crystal Palace prior to the text-message revelations, following previous successful stints in charge of Cardiff, who he guided into the Premier League, and Watford.
Holt hopes the 42-year-old is able to find another managerial role in the future, but says a return to football could be a way off and thinks his apparent misdemeanours could make it difficult for players to feel comfortable working for him.
“I don’t think Mackay should be banned for life and I share the views of people like Stan Collymore and Garth Crooks who believe he should be given a second chance,” added Holt.
“But I think it will and should be a while before he gets that because we can’t just forget about this like we have forgotten about other things.
“I saw Mackay’s interview on Sky Sports News where he said he not a racist or a homophobe but I think those denials run rather hollow when you see the content of the text messages.
“So he has quite a lot of damage to repair and quite how any black players would feel playing for him is open to question.”