Sanchez expects to see top flight female coach

Former Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez believes a club in the top flight of English football will appoint the league's first female coach inside the next decade.

"I have a bet going with a friend that there will be a female Premier League manager within 10 years because whatever is said at the top level, we're in an entertainment business," Sanchez told a BBC documentary 'Sexism in Football'.

"Whether [it is] because she's the best person out there or because of the commercial aspect that comes with it, the reason will be that it is the best situation for the club.

"Someone, somewhere, will appoint a female manager," added Sanchez who was coach of Northern Ireland between 2004-07 and is now in charge of fourth tier Barnet.

Karren Brady, vice-chairman of second tier West Ham United, said sexism was "one of the hardest things to change in any organisation".

"It really comes down to culture," said Brady, who became the first female managing director of an English Football League club when she took charge at Birmingham City 19 years ago at the age of 23.

"It only comes from change right at the very top where people really fundamentally, honestly and passionately believe that things need to be changed - not just what do we look like."

The Football Association appointed Heather Rabbatts as its director last year and she also urged change in the sport.

"It is a man's game but in terms of what goes on around the support of those players, can it be more diverse and inclusive? Yes it can," Rabbatts said in the television documentary which is due to be shown later on Wednesday.

"We've moved a long way from those few lone black players in terms of the diversity of race we see on the pitch, which I think is absolutely brilliant.

"Now can we get some diversity around what happens in football which particularly includes and represents women," Rabbatts added.


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