Wednesday, May 25, 2022

‘We’re tired of being the assistants’

RUUD GULLIT says black people are fed up with being overlooked for football’s top jobs.

Gullit was the first black manager to win a major English trophy as Chelsea’s FA Cup-winning boss in 1997.

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Ex-Stamford Bridge chief Ruud Gullit says Patrick Vieira is doing a great job but it’s a shame the Arsenal legend is the only black manager in the PremCredit: Getty
Patrick Vieira has been praised by Ruud Gullit for the way he has reshaped the Palace style of play

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Patrick Vieira has been praised by Ruud Gullit for the way he has reshaped the Palace style of playCredit: AFP

Twenty five years later Patrick Vieira is the only black manager in the Premier League despite it being regarded as the most innovative and forward thinking in the world.

Gullit said: “We are tired of being the assistants all the time.

“It is the case in almost all of Europe. You cannot tell me there are no black managers, you cannot tell that no black people want to be a manager.

“You have Vieira. He is doing a great job, doing well. He got an opportunity. We don’t want to see him as a black manager. We want to just see him as a good manager.

“But if you don’t get an interview it is already difficult and then that pond will not expand.

“Look at the Premier League, something like 55 percent of the players are black.”

Frank Lampard is the Premier League’s most recent appointment after getting the Everton job last Sunday.

Gullit said: “Now we can see already that Frank Lampard has a job and Ashley Cole may become his assistant.

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“We are fed up with being assistants. You cannot tell me that there are not any black managers out there.”

Gullit, 59, spent three years at Chelsea and went on to manage Newcastle, Feyenoord and LA Galaxy.

But as a black man he is an exception to the norm.

The former midfielder believes society at large has built-in prejudice and until that is conquered there can be no progress in football.

The two-times European Cup winner said: “It starts already in lots of jobs elsewhere. If people see John Smith and then they see Mohammed on the list, they say give me John Smith.

“It’s a pity. It’s not that we purposefully want black managers. I don’t want managers there because they are black I just want people to get an opportunity.

It’s a pity because I don’t want to look into black or white, we are all human beings. But just give opportunities.

Ruud Gullit

“Do we need a law like in America that you have to at least interview black managers to get them opportunities?

“They haven’t been asked. It’s a pity because I don’t want to look into black or white, we are all human beings. But just give opportunities and also give opportunities to go on the management courses.

“In Holland sometimes that is difficult because firstly it takes time and you have a job you can’t do it. It costs too much money. We need to make sure there is more access to it.

“I am on a committee in Holland. I have been asked by the Dutch Football Federation to tackle the problem.”

Gullit was speaking as an ambassador for Laureus ahead of the Laureus Sports Awards.

Britain’s teenage tennis star Emma Raducanu is nominated for the Breakthrough of the Year Award.

Olympic champion skateboarder Sky Brown is in the running for Comeback of the Year after recovering from a fractured skull.

The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony in April.

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