Centre for Cultural Studies and Humanities
Challenging racialised inequalities and exclusion within football coaching
Research challenging cultures of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) exclusion in UK football through a grassroots initiative.
There are only 15 British South Asian professional footballers in England out of approximately 3,700 players, and only two senior level football coaches out of 522. This is despite football being the number one sport among British South Asian communities. In comparison, while black players constitute approximately 30% of all professional players, there are only six black managers out of the 92 clubs.
Dan Kilvington suggests that increasing diversity in off-field roles, and particularly among coaches, is fundamental if we are to achieve greater diversity and see positive social and cultural change within football.
Creating and Developing Coaches (CDC) was formed in response to Kilvington’s work, as coaches were identified as key figures to alleviate said socio-cultural barriers. But, the barriers to coach inclusion had to be empirically understood and thus further research commenced.
Kilvington conducted research with BAME football coaches to identify the barriers to socio-cultural inclusion and uncover what actions could be undertaken. The barriers include:
- Institutionalised practices of racism which exclude BAME coaches
- Racialised and cultural stereotypes concerning the perceived inability of BAME coaches
- A lack of contacts and networks with key stakeholders, such as the Football Association (FA) or professional clubs
- A lack of role models
I will forever be indebted to Dan Kilvington, Steve Dorey and CDC for helping change my life and allowing me to work in football […] I firmly believe initiatives such as CDC are a huge positive for the BAME community.
CDC has worked with over 250 current and aspiring BAME football coaches across the country. Several stakeholders have collaborated, including the FA, the UK’s national football governing body, and the Zesh Rehman Foundation (ZRF), who implemented the CDC initiative into their Strategic Plan 2019-22.
CDC’s work has resulted in:
- Increasing diversity in football
- Creating networks for marginalised communities
- Highlighting opportunities
- Providing support mechanisms
- Showcasing role models
- Accessing (discounted) qualifications
- Signposting funding streams
Outputs and recognition
- Kilvington, D. (2016) British Asians, Exclusion and the Football Industry. London: Routledge
- Kilvington, D. (2017) Two Decades and Little Change: British Asians, Football and Calls for Action, Soccer & Society, 20 (4): 584-601,
- Kilvington, D. (2018) Does English Football Warrant the Rooney Rule? Assessing the Thoughts of British Asian Coaches, Sport in Society
- Kilvington, D (2019) ‘British Asians, Racial Framing and Football Exclusion’, in S. Dagkas, L. Azzarito and K. Hylton (Eds.) ‘Race’, Youth Sport, Physical Activity and Health, London: Routledge, pp. 141-152
- Kilvington, D (2020) British Asian Football Coaches: Exploring the Barriers and Advocating Action in English Football, in S. Bradbury, J.V. Sterkenburg,, and J. Lusted (Eds.) ‘Race’, Ethnicity, and Sports Coaching, London: Routledge
- Kick It Out (2017) Leeds Beckett University and FA to Host Coaching Events for Underrepresented Communities
- Manchester FA (2018) Creating and Developing BAME Coaches
- Sheffield and Hallamshire FA Event (2017) Creating and Developing Coaches
- Sporting Equals (2016) Creating and Developing Coaches
- Sporting Equals (2017) BAME Representation in Football
- Telegraph and Argus (2016) Masterclass for Football Coaches in Bradford
- West Riding County FA (2017) The Next Installment of Creating and Developing Coaches Scheduled for October
- Yorkshire Evening Post (2016) Elland Road to Host Event for Football Coaches of the Future
- Yorkshire Post (2017) Dan Kilvington: Tackling Absence of British Asian Faces on Football Pitch
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