Campbell: Fans need to ditch ‘archaic’ attitudes to non-white managers

Sol Campbell has urged football fans to change by embracing diversity and welcoming managers of colour.

The former Arsenal, Tottenham and England player says fans have a big influence in choosing which manager a club hires and that may have counted against some non-white candidates.

The 46-year-old has previously said that he thinks he would have captained his country on a more permanent basis if he was white, and believes his managerial opportunities are similarly limited.

He added that clubs not considering someone for a managerial position because of their colour was ‘archaic’.

Campbell, who has managed Macclesfield Town in League Two and Southend United when they were in League One, said: ‘I think for me the diversity in mentality is changing.

‘I think the hierarchy makeup is probably not changed as much but the mentality is changing.

‘I think the next step is the fans to kind of start to change in the ways of who they would like at their football club and things like that.

‘Because they’re a big part. [To] understand that talent is not held by colour – talent is held by whoever.

He called clubs not considering someone for a managerial role because of their skin ‘archaic’

‘If you are overlooking someone because of his colour, you could be missing out on a great manager who could quite easily come into your club and be successful and be amazing.

‘At the same time, it might not work out. But don’t stop yourself employing or opening up to that idea of someone of colour managing your football club.

‘It’s so archaic.’

Campbell added that though he has his managerial qualifications and has played for some England’s biggest clubs, he is still not considered to manage ‘some of the best teams in the world’.

Despite a high-profile career, the 46-year-old is yet to be given an opportunity at a top club

Speaking on the High Performance Podcast, he said: ‘Obviously the fans have got to realise that regardless of where you’re from or what colour, you should be open to someone who has got the qualifications and maybe is not your favourite… but at least allow him to have a chance.

‘Colour should not come into it. In 20 years time we’ll be looking back and going “what were we doing?”

‘It takes time, but for me I want it to start now. It’s hard for me because I’ve got all my badges, I’ve played for some of the best teams and played with the best players, but I can’t manage some of the best teams in the world.’

Campbell made 504 appearances for six professional clubs during his 19-year career, also winning 73 England caps and captaining the side on three occasions – though never in a competitive match.


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