Premier League, PFA and EFL launch BAME player-to-coach scheme

Premier League, PFA and EFL launch new BAME player-to-coach placement scheme – with up to six coaches set to be handed 23-month work programme at EFL clubs amid criticism over lack of coaching staff diversity

  • A new coach placement scheme targeted at BAME coaches has been launched 
  • The Premier League, PFA and EFL had unveiled the joint endeavour on Monday 
  • The scheme will see up to six BAME coaches handed a 23-month placement 
  • The successful applicants will undertake a variety of football roles at EFL clubs 

The Premier League, PFA and EFL have launched a new coach placement programme aimed at increasing the number of Black, Asian or ethnic minority (BAME) players making the step into full-time coaching roles.

The scheme, which was unveiled on Monday, will be open to BAME PFA members of any age – and it will ensure that up to six coaches per season will be handed a 23-month work placement at clubs in the EFL.

It has been jointly funded by the top flight and the PFA, and bursaries will be awarded to successful applicants by their placement clubs. 

A new coach placement programme has been launched to increase the number of BAME players making the step into full-time coaching roles

Premier League boss Richard Masters says the scheme will create pathways for BAME coaches

It was also revealed that the very first intake for the programme will run as a pilot, with coaches spending time in a club’s academy set-up or with the first team, beginning at the start of next season. 

Those who are given placements will work across a wide range of football roles at clubs to ‘broaden their learning experience’, according to the Premier League. This is likely to involve undertaking sessions with different age groups, recruitment, analysis and administration. 

The scheme, supported by the FA, has been developed over the course of the last 18 months – and the coaches able to take up roles at EFL teams will also receive additional mentoring from the PFA’s coaching team. 

Darren Moore, chair of the Premier League Black Participants’ Advisory Group, lent his support

Both Darren Moore and Paul Nevin, experienced coaches and part of the Premier League’s Black Participants’ Advisory Group, have given their support to the programme. 

Up to six applicants will be successful, and they must also hold a minimum UEFA B qualification.

Richard Masters, chief executive of the Premier League, said: ‘It is vital that there are no barriers to entry to the pipelines for employment in coaching. We need more BAME coaches entering the system to create greater opportunities throughout the professional game.

Masters also believes it is ‘vital’ there are no barriers for BAME coaches to find employment

‘This new programme has been developed through collaboration and consultation with our colleagues across football. We have taken what we have learned from running the Premier League Elite Coach Apprenticeship Scheme and applied that experience to develop this framework.

‘We welcome the support from our Black Participants’ Advisory Group and the PFA Coaching team, their experience and knowledge will undoubtedly provide meaningful mentorship to those involved in the programme. We hope this scheme will create clear pathways and substantially improve future employment prospects for BAME coaches.’ 

Sportsmail learned in June that informal talks were held between the Premier League and the FA over the possibility of top flight clubs committing to having at least one BAME coach on their first team staff.

An FA equality action plan sees Chris Powell work alongside England boss Gareth Southgate

Pressure has mounted on the Premier League to address the lack of BAME coaches and managers operating at the highest level of the game with the Black Lives Matter movement continuing to gather momentum. 

Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling has remaining vocal in expressing his wish for an increase in black former players making the transition into coaching. He also believes that more BAME individuals should be handed key roles at football clubs. 

The FA introduced a policy of assigning one BAME coach to each England team two years ago as part of a new equality action plan – and this measure has seen Chris Powell work alongside Gareth Southgate in the senior team. 

And last summer, the EFL brought in the Rooney Rule. This stipulates that clubs have to interview at least one BAME applicant when looking for a new first-team manager, although exceptions apply if they do not have a shortlisting process or interview just one candidate. 

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