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Sol Campbell says prejudice obstructs black managers

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The former England international Sol Campbell believes that racism is still a major problem in English football. He believes it stands in the way of his ambitions of moving into coaching. He is considering moving abroad to advance his career.

Campbell is currently taking his coaching badges at Arsenal's training base in London Colney, but believes that chances will be limited in England. "There are no opportunities for me here, not until attitudes change anyway," Campbell told The Guardian.

Campbell thinks, that, despite all the anti-racist initiatives in English football, there are still underlying prejudices. "Everyone has to ask themselves why there are not more black managers in this country and why the likes of Brian Deane have to go abroad to get a chance," Campbell said. "I've spoken to other black players who want to coach and they feel the same, that attitudes here are archaic. I hope and pray the environment changes."

Campbell had hoped to offer his international experience as a player to the FA and help out with the England team, but says he was cold-shouldered. "I gave my heart and soul for the national team but the FA were not there for me when I had problems," he said. "Even after that, I still wanted to do something with the England setup, and they said they were interested, but the interest went cold."

He then saw a former England team-mate offered the opportunity he craved. "Suddenly, Gary Neville pops up as assistant manager. It's obvious they want nice people who won't cause them any problems. I put out an olive branch and it got broken, but whatever, I'm ready to move on."

Campbell was a reticent character as a player but believes he has the credentials to make an effective manager. "I love managing characters. Characters make teams and I believe I can deal with all sorts. The most important thing is being able to pass my knowledge on to others."

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