Is Barnes the victim of institutionalised racism…?
Former Liverpool and England wing wizard John Barnes has claimed that his failure to land a managerial job in the last 15 years is partly because he is black.
The 51-year-old, who helped us win two league titles, two FA Cups and one League Cup during 10 years on our left flank, first became a manager in 1999 when he took charge of Scottish giants Celtic.
Unfortunately, his reign in east Glasgow was brief – he lasted just 29 games, winning 19 and losing eight, before being sacked.
Barnes then waited until September 2008 before returning to management. He took charge of Jamaica – the county of his birth – and guided the nation to victory in the Caribbean Cup.
In total, Barnes was in charge of 11 Jamaica matches, winning seven and drawing four.
He left international management to focus on club matters in June 2009, when he became Tranmere Rovers boss, but he lasted just four months before getting the chop, having only won four of his first 12 games.
Barnes, who currently works as a pundit, is keen to return to management, but he fears that a lack of chances for ethnic minorities could hamper his chances.
The Daily Mirror quotes Barnes as saying: “A white manager loses his job and gets another job, he loses his job, he gets another job.
“Very few black managers can lose their job and get another job.
“What I can judge it from is by looking at society. How many black people are there in the higher echelons of any industry? We can talk about journalism, we can talk about politics. So why should football be any different?”
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In a interview for Sports Life Stories, mentioned in this report, which will be broadcast on ITV at 10.10pm on Tuesday, Barnes added: “Well if it comes now at 51, I don’t think it will be any different.
“It’s more to do with the perception of my ability to do the job, because there’s a certain perception of who can make a good manager.”
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes Barnes deserves to have had more opportunities in management in the past decade.
Also quoted by The Mirror, Wright said: “With someone of John Barnes’ ability and stature, to not have worked more in the game with something that he’s desperate to do, I don’t know what else it can be?”