Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has candidly insisted that there is a “lack of opportunity” for black managers and there needs to be more “opportunities [for] people of colour.”

Vieira, who previously managed New York City FC and Nice, was appointed Crystal Palace manager in 2021 after Roy Hodgson stepped down.

The 46-year-old former Arsenal captain has been praised for his work at Palace, with Vieira being the only black manager to currently lead a Premier League side.

According to the Black Footballers Partnership (BFP), 43 per cent of players in the Premier League are black.

And Professor Stefan Szymanski, whose report was commissioned by the BFP, also found that 34 per cent of English Football League players are black and only 4.4 per cent of managers are black.

Speaking to The Football News Show on BBC, Vieira suggested that the “doors are not open” for aspiring black coaches to “do what we can do” in football management.

The former France midfielder added that there are “not enough” black managers when comparing the top five leagues in the world and the first or second division of football.

Patrick Vieira is the only black manager who is in charge of a Premier League side. Credit: Alamy“We have to give opportunities to people of colour. We are as good as anybody else. And we need to have no more or less opportunity than anybody else,” Vieira said.

“When you are looking at the top five leagues in the world and you’re looking at the number of black coaches you have in the first or second division, it is not enough.

“There is a lack of opportunity there. There is a lack of connection from black players to connect ourselves a little bit more with people who are making the decisions.


“But overall I believe that the doors are not open for us to do what we can do and to go into management. When I talk about management I’m talking about the team, but I’m also talking about the higher level as well.

“We need to be given more opportunities to show that we are as good as anybody else.”