'I can't even get an interview' - Man U legend Yorke vows to continue fight against racism in football

By Sports Desk June 09, 2020

Manchester United legend and retired Trinidad and Tobago international Dwight Yorke has decried the continued existence of racism in English football and vows to fight until some of the inequalities are addressed. 

Yorke’s major bone of contention stems from the fact that he believes former players, who are white, are given more of a chance to coach, despite being equally or less qualified.  The former striker, who completed his coach badges years ago, pointed to a situation with Aston Villa a few years back as a prime example.  Despite admitting that he may not have the requisite experience, the player believes he should be given the chance to at least make his case.

 In January of 2017, a League Managers Association’s report showed “statistics clearly identify a significant under-representation of BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) individuals. in England football's management ranks”  The report revealed the damning statistic that only 7.61% of English football league managers are black and served to make the case.  Over 25% of English football players are non-white.

“It’s a fact that Sir Alex Ferguson, who’s been tremendous and like a father figure ... when I applied for the [Aston] Villa job, I went into his office and told him exactly what I was trying to do,” Yorke told beIN Sports.

“He gave me some experience, he told me what I needed to do and I picked his brain. At the same time, he picked the phone up and rang Villa for me to give his recommendation.

“He’s always said to me, if I need anything, any recommendation to break into management, he would vouch for me – even to this day. With his help, I still can’t get an interview. I still can’t get an interview to this day,” he added.

 “That is what we are facing today.”

To combat the disparity between white and minority managers, the English League introduced the Rooney Rule, in 2019.  Similar to the NFL version, which was established in 2003, it dictates that every club must interview at least one BAME candidate for each senior coaching role vacancy.  Yorke, however, does not believe the rule has been effective.

“It is an absolute joke,” said Yorke, 48. “It’s not been implemented whatsoever. And if you go even deeper and you follow it in the NFL, there are new rules ... If you hire a black manager you go up in the league or something,” he added.

“The players obviously have gone against that because it’s a token gesture. This Rooney Rule hasn’t been implemented for years. I know Sol Campbell, I spoke to Sol Campbell. He went to Grimsby, he was trying his nuts off just to try and get a job,” he added.

“He went to Macclesfield, someone who’s played the level he has, and now he’s at Southend. When you see other players – I can call names, but I won’t – other players have been fast-forwarded and fast-tracked.

“You have seen, on the other hand, white players given that platform with very little experience, straight into management,” Yorke continued.

“There is a serious issue here. I’m going to fight this all the way. I’m still very hopeful.”

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