LONDON (Reuters) - Former Arsenal and England defender Sol Campbell says he may have to go abroad to further his coaching ambitions as attitudes towards black coaches in England are archaic.
Campbell, who began his career at Tottenham Hotspur and went on to win the Premier League at Arsenal, is taking the first steps towards his UEFA A licence and is passing on his knowledge to Arsenal’s young players.
However, the 39-year-old believes opportunities to move into coaching in England are limited.
”I want to start abroad,“ he said in an interview in The Guardian on Saturday. ”There are no opportunities here for me, 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 Brian Deane have to go abroad (to Sarpsborg 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.”
Some 30 percent of players in England’s top four divisions are non-white, yet only four black managers are working in the professional game.
Chris Hughton is in charge at Premier League Norwich City, former England midfielder Paul Ince manages at Blackpool while Chris Powell and Chris Kiwomya are at Charlton Athletic and Notts County respectively.
Campbell said he had hoped to become involved with the England coaching set-up but had been overlooked.
“(The FA) tried to help me afterwards but were never proactive,” said Campbell, who retired from playing last year.
”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.”
Former England and Manchester United defender Neville joined the national team’s coaching staff in May last year.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Clare Fallon