Raheem Sterling Wants Football to 'Give Back' and Demands English Football Gives Black Managers a Chance

Jun 9, 2020, 3:39 PM GMT+5:30
Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling has called for black people in football to given equal opportunities | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Raheem Sterling believes former black footballers are not getting the opportunities they deserve to become top managers in football today.

Sterling cited examples of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard who have landed high level positions in the early stages of their managerial careers. And the Manchester City forward has called on the English game to address its lack of black representation in positions of power.

The England star has been a leading campaigner against racism and discussed matters closer to home, lamenting the disparity between the number of high-profile BAME players and the shortage of those who then go on to land significant managerial, coaching or administrative jobs.

Sterling said: "This is a time to speak on these subjects, speak on injustice, especially in my field.

"There's something like 500 players in the Premier League and a third of them are black, and we have no representation of us in the hierarchy, no representation of us in the coaching staffs.

"There's not a lot of faces that we can relate to and have conversations with. With these protests that are going on it's all well and good just talking, but it's time that we need to have conversations, to be able to spark debates.

"I'll give a perfect one. There's [Rangers manager] Steven Gerrard, your [Chelsea manager] Frank Lampards, you have your Sol Campbells and you have your Ashley Coles.

"All had great careers, all played for England. At the same time, they've all respectfully done their coaching badges to coach at the highest level, and the two that haven't been given the right opportunities are the two black former players.

"It's not just taking the knee [the movement started by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick], it is about giving people the chance they deserve."

Lampard became Chelsea manager last summer after a season in charge of Derby County, while Gerrard’s first job in his post-playing career has come at Scotland’s most successful domestic club, Rangers having worked as a youth coach at Liverpool.

Campbell, meanwhile started his managerial career in League Two with Macclesfield Town and now manages Southend United, who are in the third tier. Cole joined Chelsea’s academy coaching staff in 2019.