Black coaches must be prepared as the world is changing — Carlton Cole

OLD Chelsea and West Ham striker Carlton Cole says “now is the best time for potential black coaches” to find work, because “the world is changing”.

Since June, players in England have taken a knee before games to support race equality.

Thousands of people also took part in anti-racism marches in the UK after the death of American George Floyd in May.

There are five BAME managers in the top four departments in England, but Cole hopes recent events are a “turning point”.

“It’s high time there was a lot of fuss about it [racial equality] and the whole world is changing, ”Cole told BBC Sport.

And Cole, who now works at West Ham academy, believes players can also do more to help themselves.

He explained: “The more black coaches the better at understanding what they want to do. You have to be prepared for the opportunity.

“If you don’t have the qualifications or you can’t be transferred and other people overtake you, you can’t complain.

“[Former Newcastle and England striker] Les Ferdinand is the sports director at the QPR Championship club, but he had to get back to basics and learn about other aspects of football.

“I’m trying to get the qualifications to be effective in the boardroom and also learn the business side of football. Right now is the best time for any ambitious black coach who wants to get to the next level. “

Cole, who scored 52 goals in 289 top-flight appearances, retired from playing in March 2018, following a stint at Indonesian club Persib Bandung.

He says he is open to further employment opportunities within the game, and has urged football club owners to further promote diversity.

“Owners need to want a variety of football clubs, in the boardroom, among the coaching staff and at the academy,” said Cole.

“You have to have a diverse ethnicity because you never know when a worker might need help, and you have to facilitate that.”

‘People are afraid of change’

Some football fans have boiled knee-jerk players since being allowed to return to games, but Cole said “people must” have the ability to accept change “.

The Association of Professional Footballers says players “overwhelmingly support” from continuing to kneel to highlight racial inequality, and while Cole admits he is “against” kneeling initially, he now realizes its value.

“When I see people bouncing, they don’t understand it. They have their own views on the BLM’s political side, and that’s not what we’re trying to promote, ”the 37-year-old added.

“People are afraid of change, as I am.

“When someone sat me down and explained why it was important, I started to understand.

“Now I’m withdrawing my statement. It is a message that must be conveyed and should be viewed as an educational device.

“As long as the Premier League supports it, and it’s a symbol for change, why not continue?”