Paul Ince was announced on 22nd June, as the newly appointed manager of the UK’s Premier League football club – Blackburn Rovers. He will be the first ever British black manager to coach a football team at the most top flight level. Previous black managers like Rudd Guillet of the Netherlands managed Chelsea but did […]
Paul Ince was announced on 22nd June, as the newly appointed manager of the UK’s Premier League football club – Blackburn Rovers. He will be the first ever British black manager to coach a football team at the most top flight level. Previous black managers like Rudd Guillet of the Netherlands managed Chelsea but did not originate from the UK.
The Barclay’s Premiership League is one of the most highly regarded football leagues in the footballing world and Paul Ince has now introduced the next key change in British football. This being further to the advent of more and more black players joining the league around the 1970’s and 80’s. Including names like Viv Anderson, John Barnes and Paul Ince himself. Although, the first ever recorded black person to play football was Andrew Watson who played for Queens Park in Scotland and was capped three times for the national Scottish team between 1881 and 1882.
Paul has signed a three year contract with Blackburn, who are based in the North West of the UK. Ince has had a tremendous career at both club and national level.
Ince has not always been in the headlines for his achievements but also for his bans during his career, due to scuffles with fellow players, unacceptable abuse to referees and gestures not acceptable by the Fooball Association.
Now, Ince will have to prove himself at the highest level of British football. This brings great responsibility on him not just as a manager but as a black manager to become a role model for others.
This appointment also raises the question about the lack of British Asians in professional football. To date there has not been a significant representation by British born South Asians in the game. There is no doubt that there are British Asians who are good enough. Second and third generation Asians are now embedded in British culture and society and follow football like any other fanatic in the country – attending matches, playing and coaching in the country’s Sunday and Asian leagues.
So, the question arises why are not seeing similar appointments at a higher level in the game? What is lacking in British Asian players that does not allow them to get further than the basic leagues? Currently, this whole phenomenon is still a mystery to many and really needs more focus and action from the professional bodies.
Hopefully, appointments like those of Paul Ince, will pave the way for positive outlook for British Asians who also wish to make a career from the ‘beautiful game.’
The 8th annual GQ Men Of The Year Awards took place on September 27, 2016, recognising those who have contributed to entertainment, sport, fashion and more.