Hope Powell: Brighton boss says there is 'work still to be done on diversity'

Hope Powell
Hope Powell is the only black boss in the Women's Super League

Brighton boss Hope Powell wants football to address the "lack of people of colour" in top jobs.

Ex-England boss Powell and Crystal Palace's Patrick Vieira are the only black managers in the English top flights of men's and women's football.

Powell said: "Certainly in the Premier League, does it translate from [representation] on the pitch to off the pitch? No.

"Is there work still to be done? Absolutely."

Vieira, a legend with France and Arsenal as a player, said last week: "It's what we need to change. When we're seeing that diversity on the field, I would love to see the same kind of diversity higher.

"We're talking about our federations, we're talking about not just black persons, but about having women as well. We want to be judged by our quality."

Londoner Powell was England's first black coach, managing the Lionesses from 1998 to 2013.

Sarina Wiegman's Euro 2022-winning England squad featured just three black players - and the Women's Super League has fewer black players than the Premier League.

"It's creating opportunities. Certainly it's been spoken about during the summer, the lack of diversity on the pitch," said Powell.

"I think the work needs to be done to ensure that football is accessible to everybody, and clearly it doesn't seem to be that way."

The Football Association recently launched a Discover My Talent programme with the aim of increasing diversity and accessibility to the women's game. Baroness Sue Campbell, the Football Association's director of women's football, has told BBC Sport it is making "good headway" with the scheme.

Earlier this week, QPR's Les Ferdinand told the BBC that the FA's Football Leadership Diversity Code, which was launched in 2020, has "made no difference whatsoever" in helping black players get jobs in the game.

Ferdinand, who is the only black director of football in England, said: "It's a voluntary code, so it's made no difference whatsoever because there's no repercussions for anyone if you don't follow the code. It's just nice words."

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