Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  

Race dictates managerial choice?

Former England captain Paul Ince has criticised the absence of black managers at leading clubs and pointed the finger at ageing chairmen.

Ince, who became England's first black captain, has just started his managerial career at fourth division Macclesfield Town and is preparing for their third round FA Cup tie at Premier League champions Chelsea on Saturday.

"Most chairmen are 65 or 75, so maybe it's a generational thing," Ince was quoted as telling British media on Friday.

"Maybe black managers will have more of a chance with foreign owners coming into the game, people who don't really see this as an issue."

Ince, who missed out on the manager's job at second division Wolverhampton Wanderers last year, added: "Maybe I'm the one now to take it on and be that first (black British) Premiership manager.

"The Wolves job would have been ideal. The fans wanted me, the players wanted me, everyone wanted me but for some apparent reason I didn't get it.

"At Macclesfield, the owner's from Iraq and all he wants is this club to stay in this division. I feel wanted at this club, which is why I'm working my nuts off to make sure we stay up." Ince indicated there was a particular reluctance to hire black managers who were English, pointing out that foreigners such as former Chelsea coach Ruud Gullit and ex-Fulham manager Jean Tigana have worked in the Premier League.

"It's crazy that we're still talking about race issues these days," Ince said.

"Other countries have moved on, yet we seem to have our heads stuck in the sand.

"Look at Tigana and Gullit -- they've managed in the Premiership, but they're not English, are they? We need to move on from this."

English League Two side Macclesfield Town coach Paul Ince speaks at a press conference, with the FA Cup on the foreground, at their Moss Rose ground in Macclesfield on Thursday. PHOTO: AFP