Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira 'disappointed' by lack of black managers in top football jobs

Video report by Antoine Allen

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira said he was disappointed by the lack of black managers in top football jobs and claimed attitudes within the game were slow to change.

The 46-year-old former player told ITV News London the lack of diversity affected many parts of the game including the board room and press conferences.

Vieira is the only black manager in the Premier League and was recently named on a list of the most influential black figures in the English game.

"I believe we are in a better place but it does not move quick enough," Vieira said.

"We should be talking about creating opportunities for black ex-players and players who want to be a manager.

"We are late in our approach and mindset to treat everybody the same," he added.

A report published last year showed that 43 per cent of Premier League players were black with Patrick Vieira the only manager. The figures commissioned by the Black Footballers Partnership also found 14 per cent of qualified coaches were black.

The number dropped to just four per cent across the Premier League and English Football League.

And of the 98 coaches in leading five football leagues in Europe, known as the Big Five, only three are black.

Vieira said it was important more opportunities were created, adding: "I may be a little bit naive but I hope that the mind of people making those decisions will be a bit more open and they will be giving more opportunities to minorities to show what they are capable to doing.

"I think the decision has to be made and based on the quality of the person sitting in front of you, what can he bring to your football club? How can he take your club to a different level and what is his philosophy?

"That for me has to be the main question."

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London Credit: PA

Patrick Vieira is considered as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation and became a north London legend after joining Arsenal in 1996.

He also had a spell in coaching at Manchester City's academy in 2013 leaving to sign for Major League Soccer club New York City FC.

Vieira then returned to France to manage Ligue 1 club Nice before moving to Crystal Palace in 2021.

"I hope me being a manager will inspire some of the young players to show there is the possibility to manage a team at a higher level in the Premier League, he explained.

"I hope they will have that ambition and the message to them is don't think it is not possible.

"I believe there is a place for everyone regarding how good they can be to go into what they want to do. "The future is bright for Crystal Palace and of course the challenge is the [playing] level is going higher each year because teams spending money and bring in top players so we will have to find a way to compete by identifying the special talent that we can bring to our football club.

The biggest tool we have is giving young players the chance to play in the Premier League.

This month Vieira was honoured alongside Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Lianne Sanderson on this year’s Football Black List.

Vincent Kompany, who manages Championship leaders Burnley, was also recognised for his impact.

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