Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira is one of the few black managers to have graced the Premier League. AFP / Oli SCARFF

Football management remains one of the more brutal and challenging paths former professionals can go down in the game due to the immense pressure that comes with it.

Being a football manager is an especially uphill battle for former black footballers, who often find themselves struggling to secure a job. Yet, they persist, demonstrating a remarkable resilience even in the face of these challenges.

This was found from new research commissioned by the Black Footballers Partnership, which consists of former and current black players. Roughly 3500 ex-footballers who played for a Premier League or Championship club from 1990 to 2010 were examined, and their activity off the pitch was examined.

The research findings are significant, revealing that over a span of 30 years, the chances of non-black players securing a job in football management were 50 per cent higher than black players. This disparity underscores the pressing need for diversity in football management.

The issue remains prevalent in the Premier League, with Burnley's Vincent Kompany and Nottingham Forest's Nuno Espirito Santos the only black representatives in the dugout.

Only a few other black managers have appeared in the Premier League's 32-year history, such as Chris Hughton, Darren Moore and Patrick Vieira, whom Crystal Palace fired just over a year ago.

Another shocking revelation from BFP's research was that former black footballers comprised just four per cent of all managerial positions. This is despite black players having a quarter of the coaching qualifications issued by European football's governing body, UEFA.

Other key findings were that in the event of equal performances, black managers are still 41 per cent more likely to get sacked than white managers. Also, there is a 17 per cent greater chance of a black individual being relieved from all types of management positions in football.

Delroy Corinaldi, the executive director of BFP, vividly described the challenges faced by black former professionals in an already brutal industry. He likened a career in football management to a game of Snakes and Ladders, but for black former players, it's a game with mostly snakes and very few ladders.

He added: "The footballers have become the lost generation off the pitch, having become the stars on it. This report is an opportunity for the game to reset and re-engage with the BFP so we can work towards sustainable solutions."

BFP's findings are surprising given how much playing experience former black players have at an elite level. From the estimated 3500 footballers part of the study, 73 per cent of the black players made an average of 62 Premier League appearances, whilst non-black players made less experience in the top division with an average of 49 appearances.

The research concluded that ex-black professionals receive fewer chances to be managers. Also, it is harder for them to progress up the management ranks, and they get sacked faster than their non-black peers.

These revelations come after the UK government announced the Football Governance Bill. This will lead to an independent football regulator being appointed to oversee the five highest tiers of men's football.

Corinaldi, along with former black players Les Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, and Chris Ramsey, has strongly advocated for diversity requirements to be included in the Football Governance Bill.

Their call for action is a crucial step towards addressing the lack of opportunities for black footballers in football management.