QPR boss Chris Ramsey believes covert racism will continue to persist in English football until more managers from black and ethnic minorities (BAME) are employed at the highest level.
Despite an estimated 30 per cent of players across the four divisions being non-white, there are only six BAME managers amongst the 92 league clubs. At the beginning of the season there were none.
Last week, QPR director of football Les Ferdinand told Sky Sports News HQthere is a covert culture of racism that prevented BAME candidates from being considered for managerial positions.
And Ramsey, who replaced Harry Redknapp in February and is the Premier League’s only non-white manager, fears he could struggle to find employment in the future on the basis of his ethnicity.
“The fact that we’re still at this stage highlighting that I’m the only black Premier League manager shows that it’s not the norm to have people from ethnic minorities in this position,” Ramsey said.
“Until this becomes normal and not highlighted in such spectacular fashion, that racism will be evident.
“Obviously, I am in a very fortunate position to be manager of QPR but I would hope people don’t look on it as a token gesture. I think I have earned my stripes to be in this position.
“There have been many white managers who have got jobs because of their profile and based on their experience. I do think there are other people who should have had jobs of this magnitude and it shows that there is covert racism in the game.
“I think if it doesn’t work out for me here, as any manager of any race, you’re always in a position where it’s going to be difficult to get another job. When you get sacked you don’t always walk into another job. I left Spurs and was without a job for seven months. That will always be difficult.
“But as a black man it’s always going to be difficult anyway. The problems I’ve had in the past are still going to be there. I agree (with Ferdinand that covert racism exists). It’s no secret that I've said that in the past.
“The problems of managers coming straight back into jobs are still going to be there. They are two separate issues. But we are going to win every game and I’m going to keep my job.
“I don’t think it’s going to be solely based on my ethnicity whether I get a job or not.”
Ferdinand also called for the implementation of a law similar to America's 'Rooney Rule', which ensures National Football League coaches from minority backgrounds are interviewed for available jobs.
“I think the Rooney Rule is an important factor in that there is an awareness that something has to be done to affect the way people think in boardrooms,” Ramsey added.
“I’m not just talking about race. I’m talking about gender, homophobia, just general equal opportunities. There needs to be more awareness in the game of different factors that affect why people get the jobs or not.
"Just because I'm sitting here I'm not now going to change my views of many, many years.”