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Men’s Football Hughton's sacking continues concerns for ethnic minority managers

CHRIS HUGHTON’S departure from Nottingham Forest today continues a worrying trend of black and ethnic minority managers being given less time in their roles than their white counterparts.

While Forest’s miserable start to the season inevitably made Hughton’s position precarious, the statistics continue to paint a grim picture for those seeking equal representation in the dugout.

Hughton was the longest-serving black manager in the Football League, having been appointed in October 2020, and research by the PA news agency covering the Premier League era shows that the average length of tenure for black managers is just 471 days, compared to 655 for all other managers – about 28 per cent shorter.

Forest, who finished last season in 17th place, made seven new signings during the summer transfer window, but fans had already turned on Hughton after disappointing early results.

They currently sit bottom of the Championship and Wednesday night’s home defeat to Middlesbrough left them without a win from any of their first seven matches.

The club said on their official website: “Nottingham Forest can confirm that Chris Hughton has been relieved of his duties as first-team manager.

“The club would like to place on record its appreciation for Chris’s efforts. Chris joined the club in a difficult period for everyone in football and around the world and we thank him for the way he has conducted himself during his tenure.

“Steven Reid will take temporary charge of the first team as interim head coach.”

Forest added: “The search for the permanent successor has begun and the club will update supporters in due course. The club would like to wish Chris all the best in his future career.”

Before Hughton was relieved of his duties, the number of black and ethnic minority managers in the English league stood at eight – matching the all-time high, though still less than 9 per cent of the league – and his departure ends the longest ever spell at that level.

It also leaves West Brom boss Valerien Ismael as the Championship’s only non-white manager, with Nuno Espirito Santo (Tottenham) and Patrick Vieira (Crystal Palace) in the Premier League, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Burton) and Darren Moore (Sheffield Wednesday) in League One and Hayden Mullins (Colchester) and Keith Curle (Oldham) in League Two.

Mullins was appointed by Colchester on March 31, joining Nuno, Ismael, Hughton, Moore, Hasselbaink, Curle and Leyton Orient interim boss Jobi McAnuff in the league.

McAnuff was not retained at the end of the season, but Patrick Vieira’s arrival at Crystal Palace in July raised the number back to eight. The close season also saw Nuno leave Wolves before being appointed by Tottenham, while Ismael left Barnsley for West Brom.

The only previous time with eight non-white managers came in March and April in 2018.

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