Belfast Telegraph

Bevan believes quality of British bosses remains strong despite foreign influx

The standard of British bosses remains strong despite the influx of foreign managers, according to League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan.

A Press Association Sport study into the nationality of Premier League managers at the start of each season from 1997-98 to 2017-18 revealed a 55 per cent drop in UK and Irish bosses.

Eight of the current top-flight permanent managers are British or Irish, with Sean Dyche having taken Burnley to seventh, but this season started with the joint lowest total of English bosses (four) in the last two decades.

The last manager from the UK or Ireland to finish in the top four was Brendan Rodgers with Liverpool (second in 2013-14) but Bevan believes the quality in home-grown talent remains.

"Just because we see less British managers and more overseas ones, don't think that the standard has dropped. The talent we have out there is absolutely immense in a very serious, competitive business," he told Press Association Sport.

"When you say the decline of the number of British managers, I think you have to look at, first of all, the Premier League which is in the top 10 of exports in Britain, it is a global product.

"The Premier League is the very top global employment market for football managers and coaches.

"And when you have a number of overseas owners, who do not have as much affinity with British managers, you are going to have the financial impact of television broadcast revenues providing the opportunities for owners to hire world-class managers from all over the world.

"In the last two years, 50 per cent of all the employments in the Premier League were actually British."

But Bevan is hopeful one of the big six - Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham or Liverpool - will hire a British manager again soon.

He said: "I very much hope so, Brendan Rodgers was at Liverpool in 2014, Harry Redknapp at Tottenham in 2012. From our perspective it's making sure the up-and-coming British managers also have the full tool kit, the mentors, technical skills and image to be considered for the very big jobs."

Only 40 per cent of managers last past 70 games but there are now 86 LMA members working in over 30 countries - which Bevan is keen to see grow.

He said: "In Europe we're going to build a database of clubs who are really keen to offer work experience so we can build relationships with coaches and managers so hopefully they become permanent opportunities.

"Nigel Pearson (at Belgian club OH Leuven) is a good example of that. Overseas is a big part of the future. We have 86 managers working in 30 plus countries and I would like to see that triple."

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