The Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and Professional Football Association (PFA) have launched a new initiative to boost opportunities for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) coaches.
The move followed comments from high-profile players such as Manchester City's Raheem Sterling discussing how few black players make the progression into full-time coaching roles. His comments were backed up by figures which show only six head coaches in England’s 92 clubs are from the BAME community. More than a quarter of players in the Premier League are either black or mixed race.
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Under the new “player-to-coach placement scheme” to be set in motion by next season, six coaches will undergo a 23-month work placement at a club across the three professional divisions below the Premier League.
“This is a critical time for Black, Asian and minority ethnic coaches," Darren Moore, coach of Doncaster Rovers said. Moore coached West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League and the Championship and chairs the Premier League’s Black Participants’ Advisory Group. “We all know and agree that the diversity of coaches and managers must increase and this placement scheme represents a positive step.”
"There are lots of roles in the academy system, all the way through to first team, and young coaches can slot in at different points to begin that journey.”
FA Makes 124 Jobs Redundant
The English Football Association (FA) is set to cut 124 jobs making it the biggest cost saving crusade in history to fill a devastating financial void worth $368.5 million left behind by Covid-19. 42 vacancies will not be filled along with 82 staff members losing jobs.
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said the organisation faced a "significant" financial challenge.
"It might seem that football has weathered the storm by getting the top flight men's game playing again," Bullingham said. "However, unfortunately the past few months have impacted the FA severely and we have lost a significant amount of money that we can never recoup, he said. "We also anticipate that many of our future revenue streams will be affected for a considerable time."
The FA has lost all its revenue from events that were supposed to take place at Wembley Stadium since March along with events such as music concerts and NFL matches which the stadium was to host later this year. In addition, it has lost all revenue from hospitality - about £35m per year - at Wembley, which it anticipates "will probably take years to recover".
"Proposing redundancies is the toughest cost-saving measure that any organisation can consider implementing, but we believe that we must now adapt and future-proof the organisation to ensure our cost base reflects a future with significantly lower revenues," said Bullingham.
In the FA's financial statements to the year ending 31 July 2019, its directors were remunerated £1.1m. Former chief executive Martin Glenn earned £814,000 while chairman Greg Clarke was paid £184,000.
More Reds in Empty Stadiums
In stadiums free of fan noise TV cameras and microphones are able to pick up every bit of banter, calls, protests and suggestions by the players, coaches and bench members. Consequently Serie A referees have found it easier to punish offenders sitting on the bench, carding coaching staff as well as squad members more frequently.
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With just two rounds played in the Italian league since its restart already four coaches, Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta), Antonio Conte (Inter Milan), Simone Inzaghi (SS Lazio) and Giuseppe Iachini (ACF Fiorentina) have been punished for protest. Others who have been penalised or have been sent off include the assistant coach for Juventus and the sporting directors of Cagliari and Brescia.
Tommaso Berni, Inter Milan’s reserve goalkeeper, who hasn’t played for the last six seasons with the team, was also sent off for dissent during Sunday’s game at Parma.
“I’m sorry. It hadn’t happened in 2 and a half years,” Filippo Inzaghi said after invading the pitch during Saturday’s frenetic finish which saw Lazio win 2-1 against Fiorentina. “I was trying to help the referee because there was a bit of chaos, but I wasn’t disrespectful. I just entered the field.”
Even when the benches have been moved to the first few rows of the stands, as in Parma when Berni was singled out by the fourth official during the second half, referees can still hear everything.
Setien Admits to Tension at Barca
FC Barcelona coach Quique Setien acknowledged a certain level of friction with the team as their La Liga title dreams hang on a thread after the 2-2 draw against Celtic Vigo on Saturday.
Barcelona is currently placed second behind Real Madrid with six games to play. The match at home against third placed Atletico Madrid on Tuesday is crucial to any hopes that linger on over them securing a title. A loss would put them too far back in the race.
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“It’s true that you often have arguments with players as you do in everyday life and that’s nothing new,” Setien told a virtual news conference on Monday.
“I was not an easy player to deal with and I understand this perfectly well. What we have to do is try to convince everyone that we have to defend a common idea,” he added.
The Celtic Vigo match footage showed Lionel Messi ignoring instructions from assistant Eder Sarabia during the water break. Striker Luis Suarez has also criticised Setien in a post-match interview, blaming the coach for his failure to analyse why the team kept dropping points away from home.
Xavi Wants to Coach Barcelona
Former Barcelona player Xavi Hernandez expressed his desire to return to Barcelona as head coach when the time is right. Xavi intimated his technical team is working to make that happen.
Spanish media reported that Xavi, who currently coaches the Qatari club Al Sadd, was approached by Barca to replace Ernesto Valverde before Quique Setien’s appointment in January. Barcelona are currently two points behind Real Madrid with six matches remaining.
“The biggest hope I have now is to be a Barca coach and get Barca back to winning ways,” Spanish daily Sport quoted Xavi from a video call where the 40-year-old talked about his plans for the future.
Xavi said he hopes to start from the very beginning, if he becomes the coach
“I'm a club man. I would like to return at the right moment to start a project from zero. I've said it a lot of times but I want to take footballing decisions at Barcelona,” he added.
“It's clear that after the elections the stage would be set, of course. I'm not ruling anything out. They came for me in January, we were speaking. I told them the circumstances and timing weren't right.
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