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Smart move to get black pros on board.


AFTER the sacking of Chris Powell at Charlton, only one of our 92 league clubs now has a black or mixed race manager.

One of the problems - apart from the fools who stick their heads in the sand and say there is no problem - is that there is little or no ethnic minority presence in football boardrooms.

There are no black decisionmakers. White boardrooms tend to pick white managers. It's stark but true.

So it is particularly welcome that a new initiative aimed at making boardrooms more diverse will be celebrated at Wembley today. Fourteen former footballers including Les Ferdinand (left), Chris Ramsey, Ian Taylor and Nathan Blake, will graduate from a corporate governance course called "On Board", which has been funded by the Professional Footballers' Association.

The initiative, thought up by former players like ex-Wigan and Reading striker Jason Roberts, and ex-West Brom defender Darren and n a Moore, will provide the game with a pool of former players qualified to apply for boardroom positions.

Roberts said: "Traditionally footballers have been encouraged into other areas of the game, and not the boardrooms. We want to change that."

There is bound to be cynicism, of course. There are bound to be patronising, doubting voices. There always are. That's fine but I bet no ex-footballer could waste PS80million quite as spectacularly as the Spurs board blew the Gareth Bale cash.

And anyway, now we have reached a stage where the only black manager in English league football is Chris Hughton, surely everyone can see that the system is failing black and ethnic minority ex-players.

On Board can only be a step in the right direction.

The system is failing black and ethnic minority ex-players
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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion, Columns
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 2, 2014
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