‘Fit for doing, but not fit for organising’: The under-representation and racialised experiences of BAME coaches in professional football in Europe – Dr Steven Bradbury, Loughborough University

Date: Thursday 31 January

Time: 5:00-6:00pm

Location: HC.0.06, Heart of Campus, Collegiate Campus, Sheffield Hallam University

Book tickets (free admission)


The presentation will examine the levels of representation and racialised experiences of elite level minority (male) coaches in (men’s) professional football in Europe. It will draw on interviews with key stakeholders and elite level minority coaches in several countries in Europe to identify some key constraining factors which have limited opportunities for career progression across the transition from playing to coaching in the professional game. In doing so, the presentation will focus on key themes identified by interviewees as the most prescient in explaining the historical and continued underrepresentation of minority coaches in the sport. These include; limited access to and negative experiences of the high-level coach education environment; the existence of racial and cultural stereotyping in the professional coaching workplace; the over-reliance of clubs on networks rather than qualifications-based frameworks for coach recruitment, and the lack of minority role models in senior coaching positions in the sport. Finally, the presentation will contextualize these findings from a Critical Race Theory perspective and will draw linkages between patterns of minority coach under-representation, processes and practices of institutional racism, and the underlying normative power of hegemonic Whiteness in the sport.

Dr Steven Bradbury, is a Lecturer in Sport, Diversity and Social Justice at the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University. His main research interest is around issues of racial inequalities in the playing, coaching and governance tiers of amateur and professional football and in other sports. Over the past 20 years he has undertaken research on behalf of a range of national and international sports bodies, including; the FA, PFA, FARE Network, Sport England, Youth Sports Trust, Sports Leaders UK, Sports People’s Think Tank and UEFA. He has published reports, academic articles and book chapters on issues of ‘race’, ethnicity and football, and has presented research findings to a range of governmental, policy and academic audiences in the UK, Europe and North America. His forthcoming edited collection ‘Race, Ethnicity and Racisms in Sports Coaching’ will be published by Routledge in late 2019.