Premier League introduces scheme to increase number of BAME coaches

THE Premier League and PFA are funding a new coach placement scheme aimed at increasing the number of BAME players moving into full-time coaching roles in the professional game.

The BAME Player-to-Coach Placement Scheme is open to BAME PFA members at any age or stage in their careers and will provide up to six coaches per season with a 23-month ‘intensive work placement’ with EFL clubs.

Bursaries will be provided to each participant via the placement club.

Coaches will take part in an “individualised learning and development programme” and work across a “variety of football functions” within each club, which could involve coaching different age groups, physical performance and conditioning, recruitment, analysis and/ or administration.

They will also receive mentoring from the PFA's coaching team, which is made up of 14 former players who are now elite coach educators. The first intake will be at the start of 2020/21 and participants will go into either a club's Academy or first team.

The Premier League's Black Participants' Advisory Group, headed up by Darren Moore, has offered its support to the programme, as has The Football Association.

The scheme has been developed over the last 18 months and complements the Premier League Elite Coach Apprenticeship Scheme, which launched in 2015 and provides a bursary for eight BAME and female coaches per intake, with participants placed in Premier League and Category One Academies.

"It is vital that there are no barriers to entry to the pipelines for employment in coaching," Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said.

"We need more BAME coaches entering the system to create greater opportunities throughout the professional game. This new programme has been developed through collaboration and consultation with our colleagues across football.

"We have taken what we have learned from running the Premier League Elite Coach Apprenticeship Scheme and applied that experience to develop this framework.

"We welcome the support from our Black Participants' Advisory Group and the PFA Coaching team, their experience and knowledge will undoubtedly provide meaningful mentorship to those involved in the programme.

"We hope this scheme will create clear pathways and substantially improve future employment prospects for BAME coaches."

PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor added: "We have designed this collaborative bursary scheme so that talented future coaches amongst our membership can flourish within a structured coaching environment, which includes meaningful pathways for future employment.”

Doncaster boss Moore, who chairs the Premier League’s Black Participants’ Advisory Group, said: "We all know and agree that the diversity of coaches and managers must increase and this placement scheme represents a positive step.

“There are lots of roles in the Academy system all the way through to first team and young coaches can slot in at different points to begin that journey.

"We need to have the right structures and people in place to develop their careers. I know, from my own experiences, the value of strong support throughout the coaching journey, which is why I, alongside other senior coaches and former players, will be drawing on our collective expertise to provide guidance to those making the transition into coaching and working in the professional environment.”

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