Ex-England centre half eyes coaching job abroad to escape ‘archaic’ attitudes at home.
Former Arsenal star Sol Campbell says he will have to move abroad to fulfil his ambitions of becoming a coach because attitudes to black players and coaches in the UK are ‘archaic’.
Campbell, who won 73 caps for England and two league titles with the Gunners in a 19-year playing career, is currently training for his UEFA pro-licences, a process that will take a further three years but believes he will have to move abroad in order to g
“I want to start abroad,” the 39-year-old told the Guardian. “There are no opportunities for me here, not until attitudes change anyway. Everyone has to ask themselves why there are not more black managers in this country and why the likes of [former Sheffield United striker] Brian Deane have to go abroad [to Sarpsborg 08 in Norway] to get a chance.
“I’ve spoken to other black players who want to coach and they feel the same, that attitudes here are archaic. I hope and pray the environment changes.”
There are currently just four black managers – Chris Hughton, Chris Powell, Paul Ince and Chris Kiwomya – employed by England’s 92 professional clubs but a possible rule change, proposed by the PFA and Football League, could see clubs required to interview ethnic-minority candidates. Similar legislation, coined the ‘Rooney Rule’, is already in place for NFL clubs in the USA.
Meanwhile Campbell, who also played for Tottenham and Portsmouth, has criticised the FA for a lack of support during his playing career and says his offers of assistance since retiring in May 2011 have been turned down.
“I gave my heart and soul for the national team but the FA were not there for me when I had problems,” he said. “Even after that, I still wanted to do something with the England setup, and they said they were interested, but the interest went cold. Suddenly, Gary Neville pops up as assistant manager.
“It’s obvious they want nice people who won’t cause them any problems. I put out an olive branch and it got broken, but whatever, I’m ready to move on.”