Russell Latapy: Black managers don't get fair chance in Scotland

Russell Latapy believes black managers do not get a fair chance in the Scottish game.

Russell Latapy believes there are not the same opportunities for black managers. Picture: Donald MacLeod

The Trinidadian has been frustrated in his attempts to find a job since quitting as assistant manager at Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the start of the season.

He believes unproven white managers are getting opportunities ahead of black candidates. Following John Barnes’ ill-fated time at Celtic in 2000, the only black or mixed-race manager to work in the top flight was Marcio Maximo, who had a short time in charge of Livingston in 2003-4. Dave Smith, who managed
Montrose for a short spell in the 1990s, was the last to operate in the lower tiers.

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Latapy was interviewed by Falkirk after Steven Pressley left in 2013, and there were rumours he was in line to take over at Alloa in January.

“Do I think there is still a block for black managers?” he said. “Yes, I do. I know it can be dangerous to compare situations but you see a lot of managers getting opportunities who have not proved themselves and then you see a lot of black managers who have done a lot as players and in coaching who do not get that opportunity. I think there is still, unfortunately, the situation that black managers are not getting a fair chance compared to young, white managers.”

Latapy, however, is wary of a “Rooney Rule” – as applied in American football – whereby clubs are forced to interview a certain number of black and minority ethnic candidates. “I would have to think more about that [the Rooney Rule],” he added. “But what I would say is that I – and every other black manager in football – want to get an opportunity based on merit, not based on a governing body saying that they have to do it.”