Open Goal campaign: Security guard refused to believe I was my team's manager - Leroy Rosenior
Published 21:00 14/09/11 By Mike McGrath
Leroy Rosenior has outlined the barriers facing black managers - by revealing he was once refused entry to a club boardroom.
It was only 11 years ago that Rosenior took the job at non-League Gloucester City and started his managerial career, despite seeing a lack of opportunities for black ex-players.
He believes the prejudiced view of one security guard at an away game in those days is still present in football.
“They wouldn’t let me in the boardroom,” said the 47-year-old. “The guard did not believe I was the manager, so I had to go to get my chairman.
“I wanted to make a point that not all managers are 50 and wear a trenchcoat, but they thought I wasn’t the manager because I didn’t look like a manager.”
Rosenior went on to boss Merthyr Tydfil, Torquay and Brentford, and is now a pundit on the Premier League’s TV channel.
He was at the House of Commons on Wednesday to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Show Racism The Red Card campaign - and getting more managers is part of the agenda.
The former Fulham and West Ham striker is in favour of a US-style Rooney Rule coming in, as proposed by the Mirror's Open Goal campaign, and clubs being ordered to interview a non-white candidate for each managerial opening.
“It’s not about giving jobs to black people or ethnic minorities, it’s about giving them an interview," said Rosenior. "It’s about people in power looking at people and thinking they could do a job at any level.
“People are feeling they are not even getting a chance to be interviewed, so it’s a positive rule in that way.
“It happened to me when I went for an interview at Torquay and didn’t get the job but it was thought I could do something later down the line.”
Rosenior also feels many black managers have been lost to football because of a lack of opportunities.
“How an individual is made up has nothing to do with colour,” he added.
“We have lost a lot of good black managers. You would think it was a natural step for someone like John Barnes, but he did not get another chance after Celtic.
“Luther Blissett never had the opportunity. Viv Anderson had one opportunity [at Barnsley in 1993-94] and was then lost to the game.
“There have been many lost and there are other not-so well known people who would have been exceptional managers but were never given the opportunity.”