So we can safely declare 2014 as the year that racism officially ended in high-level European soccer.
Consider: Clarence Seedorf became Serie A’s first black head coach in 20 years in January (lasting a full five months at AC Milan). And now Chris Hughton has been appointed as manager of Brighton in England’s second tier, taking the tally of black managers in England to four! That’s an incredible 33 percent increase in the number of black managers in England’s top 92 clubs since yesterday!
True, this was a year in which some influential British figures called for a Rooney Rule – which is apparently something to do with enhancing interview opportunities for minority candidates, as opposed to agitating for a move away from Old Trafford every 10 minutes in order to boost your already ludicrous salary. But as far as ending racism goes ….
Yes, Spain still has a banana-misuse problem. And it’s true that black players comprise around 25 percent of England’s pro player pool, and Hughton’s appointment brings the level of black managers to only 4.3 percent. And yes, 14 percent of the population of England and Wales is non-white but only 8 percent of EPL match-going fans are minorities. And, well, after Seedorf in Italy there’s been … (gulp).
Still, a 33 percent increase in England. That math don’t lie.
(Editor’s note: Major League Soccer’s managerial pool at the beginning of the 2014 season:)