Chelsea loan technical coach Eddie Newton believes he might have been given the chance to be a manager by now if he was white.
There are only three Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) managers in the top four divisions: Brighton’s Chris Hughton, Carlisle’s Keith Curle and Grimsby’s Marcus Bignot.
Newton was Roberto Di Matteo’s No2 when Chelsea won the Champions League and FA Cup in 2012 and was kept on by the club when the Italian was sacked later that year. He also worked alongside Di Matteo at MK Dons and West Brom.
Despite his experience, the former Chelsea midfielder has not had an opportunity to become a manager.
Asked about the lack of BAME coaches, he said: “Is it a concern, yes. Unexpected? No. I knew this was what I was going to face when I was doing my coaching badges. It was plain in your face, when I was growing up as a player — how many black coaches did I see?
“Now you’re starting to see more and it’s good. People are making the effort and they are pushing it, because when I was first in coaching, the thing that black coaches used to say was ‘what’s the worth?’
“But I always said if Jesse Owens had said that, where would we be? Someone’s got to break the cycle. My wife says I’m too humble. I’d rather other people talk about my achievements, I’m not that kind of person.
“Some people say that goes against you — maybe, but that’s who I am and I can’t change that. Whatever I’ve done, I shouldn’t have to shout from the treetops. So people should recognise, whoa — hold on, he’s won the Champions League and the FA Cup already as a young coach.
“But that’s by the by, I keep working and I know I’m good enough. I think it’s getting harder and harder for me to be a No2 because I want to be a No1.”
But 45-year-old Newton, who helps look after Chelsea’s loan players, is refusing to give up on his dream. Speaking to Paul Mortimer, Kick it Out’s Professional Players Engagement Manager, he added: “I have to put that down as part of my journey.
“Chelsea were good enough when they let Robbie go to say ‘no — you’re staying’ and they put me in this role. I built this from scratch and I’m very proud of what I’ve done.
“I’m the kind of person who works stronger with a team around me and I know how I work so to bring a team with me, I know we’d do well. But you have to be given the opportunity first and foremost.”
Chelsea take on Stoke tomorrow with right wing-back Victor Moses a doubt due to a calf injury.