Frank Lampard has defended his appointment at Chelsea following comments from Raheem Sterling regarding a lack of BAME managers within football.
Sterling has been vocal in his fight against racial inequality in society and gave an interview in which he highlighted the lack of BAME representation in management earlier this month.
The England international questioned why the likes of Lampard and Steven Gerrard were handed opportunities at big clubs such as Chelsea and Rangers respectively, whilst international contemporaries in Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole have struggled to earn a position at leading clubs.
Lampard has now defended his appointment and says Sterling’s comparison was ‘slightly wrong’ given his lack of details on each person’s ‘pathway’, but praised the Manchester City star for his bravery in speaking out in the fight for equality.
“What Raheem Sterling has been brave enough to speak about in the last year or two – issues which should have been broached a while before – he deserves huge credit for that,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Chelsea’s clash with City tonight.
“In the case of managers, I think Raheem got it slightly wrong from my point of view.
“If you compare opportunities and pathways of individual managers there’s myself, Steven and Sol Campbell, who did an incredible job at Macclesfield and is doing a job at Southend that any of us would find very difficult to do.
⚽️ Do black managers get a fair shot in football management?
🗣 @MiguelDelaney explains why the odds are stacked against BAME managers.
— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) June 23, 2020
“[There’s also] Ashley Cole who finished his career with me at Derby last year and is working [as a coach] here at Chelsea, doing a great job. I think he’ll be successful in whatever he wants to do so.
“It is very hard to make that comparison from the outside.
“I certainly worked from the start of my career to try and get this opportunity and there are a million things that knock you, set you back, you fight against.
“In terms of the club I’m working for now, it’s a club that makes huge statements and actions around any form of prejudice.
“I’d like to think that no matter your background – and I’ve played for a lot of managers at this club – you will get a chance.
“Having said that I think there is certainly an argument. I think we are moving forward and we can move more quickly, where players are getting equal opportunities when they move into management.
“The numbers suggest there are things that need to be done. Not just players, young coaches who come into the game. The FA do a lot of good work.
“I’ve just finished my pro-licence. It was very diverse. That needs to be encouraged.
“[But] with Raheem, I think the individual comparison when you don’t have the detail of each person’s pathway wasn’t quite right.
“Again, I will level that out because I want to say that what Raheem as a person and player has stood up for in the last two years has been fantastic.”