Patrick Vieira stands alone in Premier League as Palace boss reveals Sol Campbell talks


Patrick Vieira has said that he and close friend and former Arsenal Invincibles teammate Sol Campbell still speak regularly about the lack of black managers working in the Premier League.

The Frenchman is currently the only Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) manager working in the division following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo from Spurs last month.

He is also only the tenth black man in the entire history of the Premier League to take charge of one of its clubs, which given the infamy of the ‘managerial merry-go-round’ in the English top-flight is an even more damning statistic.

Vieira said he and former Arsenal teammate Campbell discuss the problem regularly, with Campbell’s only jobs in management so far coming in League Two with Macclesfield and Southend United.

“Of course we talk about it a lot,” said the Palace boss. “We spend a lot of time talking about it because this is something that we find very difficult to understand.

“We’re talking about experience, we’re talking about the love of the game, the work ethic, the game understanding, and overall the passion that we have for the game. And that is not different from any other people.”

One of the ways Vieira says he can help with this problem is by inviting coaches like Campbell to Palace’s training ground to allow him to gain experience and work in a Premier League environment for a short period.



LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 16: Patrick Vieira and Sol Campbell of Arsenal before the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur on November 16, 2002 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Patrick Vieira and Sol Campbell during their Arsenal playing days

Vieira was afforded this opportunity himself by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Bayern Munich and said that now he was in one of the top jobs it was only right he does the same for others.

“I was really lucky during my coaching career that so many managers opened the doors of their football clubs for me to go and spend the week,” added the Frenchman.

“So [now it’s] my turn. I’m lucky to be in a really good football club and if there are managers around who I can open the door to and give them the support that I had when I was doing my badges, I will do it.

“Especially when he is a good friend of mine. I spoke to Sol and he will come and spend a couple of days with us and see how the football club operates.”

Vieira previously welcomed former Chelsea player and France teammate Claude Makelele to Palace’s training ground to run a session with his first team.

The midfielder works for the Blues as a technical mentor and was there to oversee how loanee Conor Gallagher was faring.





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