‘More opportunities’: Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira calls on clubs to open doors for black managers

Black players have always had a role in the success of the Premier League but few have been managers.

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira says the reason why he’s the only black manager in the Premier League this season is down to lack of  opportunities for people who look like him.

According to a recent talkSPORT survey, one in four Premier League footballers are black, yet former Arsenal midfielder Vieira is the only one who is able to stand in the dugout this campaign. The lower leagues in England are also populated by black players yet the number of managers given opportunities at that level doesn’t increase drastically.

Since the Premier League begun in 1992, only 10 black managers have been top tier managers and Vieira who is carrying the flag for black managers says more needs to be done to open doors for black managers going forward. He makes an argument that if blacks can play the game, then they are certainly good enough to manage it too.

The Palace boss told the BBC: “We have to give opportunities to people of colour. We are as good as anybody else.

“We need to have no more or less opportunity than anybody else. When you are looking at the top five leagues in the world and you’re looking at the number of black coaches you have in the first or second division, it is not enough. There is a lack of opportunity there. There is a lack of connection from black players to connect ourselves a little bit more with people who are making the decisions.

“But overall I believe that the doors are not open for us to do what we can do and to go into management. When I talk about management I’m talking about the team, but I’m also talking about the higher level as well.We need to be given more opportunities to show that we are as good as anybody else.”

On the field, Crystal Palace will be looking to return to winning ways this weekend after an underwhelming performance against Everton where they lost 3-0. They will take Southampton this weekend and fans will hope that Vieira and his team can bring three points.