Chris Hughton’s departure from Nottingham Forest continues a concerning 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 – rock-bottom of the Championship with only one point from seven games – 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 the average length of tenure for black managers is just 471 days, compared to 655 for all other managers – around 28 per cent shorter.
His exit 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.
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 nine per cent of the league – and his departure ends the longest ever spell at that level.
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 2018, with Nuno at Wolves, Hughton at Brighton, Chris Powell at Southend, Jose Morais at Barnsley, Curle at Carlisle, Dino Maamria at Stevenage and Jack Lester at Chesterfield, while Hasselbaink was in charge of Northampton up to April 2 and Moore was appointed by West Brom the following day.