‘If Lampard was black’ – Barnes uses Gerrard record to highlight racial prejudice in football management

·2-min read
Barnes advises Liverpool Credit: Alamy
Barnes advises Liverpool Credit: Alamy

John Barnes used both Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard to highlight the racial prejudice in football management, insisting they would not have been given the same opportunities if they were black.

The Liverpool legend has spells as manager at Celtic and Tranmere Rover, as well Jamaica, and he believes that he only lasted eight months at Celtic Park because of a lack of faith in black managers, using Gerrard’s record at Rangers in a comparison.

Barnes told William Hill’s Up Front with Simon Jordan: “What would you say if I told you that I had a better win percentage than Steven Gerrard at Rangers? So, why wasn’t I given longer [at Celtic]?

“Apparently my 65 percent [win ratio at Celtic] is not great, but Steven Gerrard’s 64 [win ratio at Rangers] is great and that’s why he got the Aston Villa job. Regardless of experience and whether he should or shouldn’t have got the job, it’s amazing people say that’s not bad.”

Barnes then used Frank Lampard, who was sacked by Chelsea and Everton before recently returning to an interim role at Stamford Bridge, to further make his point.

He added: “I love Frank [Lampard] but do you really think with Frank Lampard’s record, that if he was black, he would have been given the same opportunities?”

The ex-England international then insisted a black Simon Jordan wouldn’t be accepted by society, before using Barack Obama and Donald Trump to illustrate how white men are given more leeway in all walks of life.

Barnes said: “Black people have to have humility. I don’t think there could be a black Simon Jordan because you’re too opinionated – if you were black, you would get slaughtered more than you get slaughtered now. Society would not except a black Simon Jordan.

“You tell me that if Obama had the character of Trump he would have survived? White men are given longer and therefore leeway to be arrogant and be whatever they want. They are go-getters and if you’re black or female, you can’t be that way.

“In football terms, chairman don’t sack managers, fans sack managers. Why are fans quicker to lose faith in black managers than white managers? It’s because of the perception of a black person’s ability to lead.”

READ MORE: What Frank Lampard told his players at half-time: Ten pearls of wisdom for Chelsea and Everton

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