Last night I was watching Oral Tracey’s commentary during Prime Time News. He spoke about coaches from minorities in the English Premier League.

While sharing his views, he kept referring to coaches as ‘he’. His closing really got me: “The coach will always get a job whether he’s white or he’s yellow or he’s black.” He might be right, I don’t think he is, but what happens if that coach is a she?

Tracey is continuing to prove Natasha Orchard-Smith right. Smith, the only female to coach semi-professional men's football, doesn't think women will be a part of the conversation anytime soon. The conversation she is speaking about is women coaching at top teams in the top leagues like the English Premier League.

Orchard-Smith said she didn't believe backroom staff would be so bold. Her sentiments were backed by another Smith. Former Arsenal and England forward Kelly Smith, at just 41 years old, doesn't think a woman will coach in the English Premier League in her lifetime. 

"Personally, I don't see that in my lifetime. I think there's still a long way to go in terms of earning that respect and women being allowed to coach in the men's game at the Premier League level,” said Smith.

There’s a popular quote that goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” Forgetting people or things that are not visible especially for a long period of time. I could understand if women coaches didn’t have special requirements to fill those positions. But this isn't the case. Presently, there are women with credentials to coach at the professional league level. According to Smith, "Some female coaches have the elite, the professional license that the men have…” So, why aren't they being given opportunities?

I think women aren't given the chance to coach professional leagues because they’re forgotten. Since they’ve been unwillingly absent from these roles for so long, we naturally forget about them. As Smith says, “There are so many doors closed right now to female coaches.”

Some part of me wants to say this smells like something that starts with ‘s’. Sexism!

Smith admits, “I just don't think chairmen and board members are willing to give women that opportunity and open the door…”

As I put my thinking cap on, it’s all starting to make sense. We know women are the ones locked out. Smith said chairmen and board members are reluctant to open the door. Can I suggest certain men have the key?

Sure, there are possibilities for women to coach at academies and at the non-league football level. Natalie Henderson coaches Newcastle United’s academy. In March 2019, she was one of two female coaches there.

Although the Premier League's ‘Black and Minority Ethnic and Female Coach initiative’ aims to take on more women (and other minorities) for a more diverse space, the programme only invests in the coaches' development as far as becoming elite at the youth level.

But Henderson believes that diversity is important at all levels.

"Everybody has their own qualities and everybody has their own experiences to pass on to the players, and I think that’s really important, to have a diverse set of staff to help that," she said.

Dwight Yorke shared a similar view in an interview. He acknowledges that representation is crucial especially at the top of an organization. There has to be someone looking out for another person’s best interest.

He focused on the absence of black managers in professional leagues. “When you think of the percentage of black players that have graced the game and contribute to the game of football, why aren’t they being given a fair chance?” Yorke urged board members to at least have the decency to come in and listen to those applying for a position. I want women to get the same courtesy.

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

Manchester United legend and retired Trinidad and Tobago international Dwight Yorke has decried the continued existence of racism in English football and vows to fight until some of the inequalities are addressed. 

Yorke’s major bone of contention stems from the fact that he believes former players, who are white, are given more of a chance to coach, despite being equally or less qualified.  The former striker, who completed his coach badges years ago, pointed to a situation with Aston Villa a few years back as a prime example.  Despite admitting that he may not have the requisite experience, the player believes he should be given the chance to at least make his case.

 In January of 2017, a League Managers Association’s report showed “statistics clearly identify a significant under-representation of BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) individuals. in England football's management ranks”  The report revealed the damning statistic that only 7.61% of English football league managers are black and served to make the case.  Over 25% of English football players are non-white.

“It’s a fact that Sir Alex Ferguson, who’s been tremendous and like a father figure ... when I applied for the [Aston] Villa job, I went into his office and told him exactly what I was trying to do,” Yorke told beIN Sports.

“He gave me some experience, he told me what I needed to do and I picked his brain. At the same time, he picked the phone up and rang Villa for me to give his recommendation.

“He’s always said to me, if I need anything, any recommendation to break into management, he would vouch for me – even to this day. With his help, I still can’t get an interview. I still can’t get an interview to this day,” he added.

 “That is what we are facing today.”

To combat the disparity between white and minority managers, the English League introduced the Rooney Rule, in 2019.  Similar to the NFL version, which was established in 2003, it dictates that every club must interview at least one BAME candidate for each senior coaching role vacancy.  Yorke, however, does not believe the rule has been effective.

“It is an absolute joke,” said Yorke, 48. “It’s not been implemented whatsoever. And if you go even deeper and you follow it in the NFL, there are new rules ... If you hire a black manager you go up in the league or something,” he added.

“The players obviously have gone against that because it’s a token gesture. This Rooney Rule hasn’t been implemented for years. I know Sol Campbell, I spoke to Sol Campbell. He went to Grimsby, he was trying his nuts off just to try and get a job,” he added.

“He went to Macclesfield, someone who’s played the level he has, and now he’s at Southend. When you see other players – I can call names, but I won’t – other players have been fast-forwarded and fast-tracked.

“You have seen, on the other hand, white players given that platform with very little experience, straight into management,” Yorke continued.

“There is a serious issue here. I’m going to fight this all the way. I’m still very hopeful.”

Former Aston Villa and Manchester United star Dwight Yorke has a struggle on his hands.

Just as he did when he tried to break into Premier League football in England, so it is today, where the Trinidad and Tobago native, the most successful footballer in the countries history, is finding it today.

Based in Dubai, Yorke is now trying his hand at managing but has found that the colour of his skin provides barriers just as it did during his playing days.

"I'm actually trying to get into coaching here, which is another challenging part of my career. It's a different challenge now," said Yorke during an interview with T&T radio station i95FM.

"The challenge was to break in as a black player in the UK,” said Yorke speaking of his 10 years with Aston Villa where he scored 97 goals before becoming a household name with Manchester United in a famous partnership with Andy Cole.

“I managed to do that, and now I have to fight extremely hard and ... it's the same thing coming to management. You have to fight extremely hard to get a look-in to it,” Said Yorke.

"You just have to look around the world; it's very challenging. I'm not ashamed to say it - the black aspiring managers are not getting a look-in. You look in the Premier League and you look around globally."

Former Trinidad and Manchester United great Dwight Yorke has sided with FIFA in its decision take over the operations of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) last month.

Roy Keane believes the brilliance and unselfishness of striking quartet Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Dwight Yorke made Manchester United "really lucky" to have them.

Reflecting on United's treble success in 1999 and the three consecutive Premier League titles secured up to 2001, Keane and former team-mate Gary Neville hailed the club's strikeforce.

Current manager Solskjaer and Sheringham, who both scored in the Champions League final win over Bayern Munich, were integral rotation pieces who complemented the famed Yorke and Cole partnership.

Keane felt the personalities of that group were crucial in making it work at a time when, despite their quality, none of the four players were starting every week.

"We were really lucky with the four strikers we had at that time, Yorkie, Coley, Ole and Teddy - brilliant players," Keane said to Sky Sports.

"I always try make the point to remind people they were very good lads in the dressing room. People talk about strikers being selfish, they have to be, but I found all of these lads to be decent lads.

"They looked at the bigger picture, they had to bide their time as the manager rotated the squad.

"We were one of the first to rotate the squad throughout the competitions. The players made it work, they were professionals and when they got the opportunity they went out and did the business."

Asked who the best combination was, Keane added: "I don't like these conversations, I really don't, it's really unfair."

Neville, meanwhile, felt the partnership between Yorke and Cole could not have been replicated by other world-class strikers.

He said: "The thing about that partnership is that neither minded who scored.

"That is something you wouldn't have seen with partnerships involving Ruud van Nistelrooy and Michael Owen, who had to score to be happy.

"Yorke and Cole didn't hit it off from the start, it took 10 to 15 games from memory.

"Leicester away sticks in my mind, something just happened that day and after that they started socialising together, getting on off the pitch and a respect between each other developed.

"We knew Yorke was a good player from Aston Villa, but I don't think anybody realised how good a player he was, he surprised us when he came into the team."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.