MX23RW : Friday, January 18 01:57:24

Sol Campbell appointed Macclesfield manager on 18-month contract

Sol Campbell appointed Macclesfield manager on 18-month contract
© Reuters
The Silkmen are seven points adrift of safety in League Two.

Sol Campbell has taken his first job in management with League Two's bottom side Macclesfield.

The former England, Tottenham and Arsenal defender has signed an 18-month deal with the Silkmen, who have been looking for a new boss since the departure of Mark Yates last month and sit seven points adrift of safety.

Campbell was pictured at the club's Moss Rose ground on Tuesday morning, and a couple of hours later Town tweeted a picture of a bottle of Sol with the caption "drink anyone?" before confirming the news.

The 44-year-old has made no secret of his desire to become a manager and has spoken out on a number of occasions about the barriers for aspiring Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) coaches.

Campbell, whose new side faced Exeter at St James Park on Tuesday evening, told BBC Sport: "It's good to be back in football."

Campbell, who retired from playing in 2012 after a career that brought him two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and 73 England caps, had a spell as assistant manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team and recently spent 10 days working alongside England Under-21s manager Aidy Boothroyd.

Campbell was invited to help out at St George's Park as the Football Association bids to address the issue of under-representation of BAME coaches in the game.

"It's hard to call it a scheme, because it's more a door-opening or an opportunity," Campbell told the FA's official website.

"You shouldn't label it a scheme because football should be the winner, so talent or opportunity is what it's bringing to England and they are addressing it because it's been a long time."

Sol Campbell during his Arsenal days
Sol Campbell during his Arsenal days (Dave Thompson/PA)

The likes of Iffy Onuora, Terry Connor, Kieron Dyer and Titus Bramble have all spent time coaching across England's different age groups and Campbell believes it is a step in the right direction.

"Now, they're welcoming everybody into the fold and there's also some more players to come back who are retired or are retiring to do their courses and see what's happening," he said.

"The more (BAME) guys who qualify for their coaching badges at B, A and Pro, the better it is. The main thing is that the pathways are there and that's key and the FA are addressing that."

Sol Campbell won the last of his England caps in 2007
Sol Campbell won the last of his England caps in 2007 (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Campbell's former England team-mate Paul Ince also cut his managerial teeth at Macclesfield, helping the club avoid relegation from League Two.

He said the appointment brought back "some nice memories", but admitted it was a "shame" that Campbell, given his credentials, had had to start his managerial career with the Football League's bottom side.

Ince said on Sky Sports News: "Someone like Sol, with his CV, had to go to that level to get a manager's job, it's sad. But it is how it is and you've just got to get on with it. It's going to be a tough job, but you've got to get your foot in somewhere."

Paul Ince managed Macclesfield for one season
Paul Ince managed Macclesfield for one season (Nick Potts/PA)

Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke praised Campbell for being willing to take such a job and claimed the fact some of his former England team-mates had got chances at bigger clubs was proof that BAME managers were still not being given an equal opportunity.

"I have to take my hat off to Sol Campbell, he's prepared to go anywhere to just get that opportunity, because that's all we ever ask, a fair crack of the whip, to be given that chance," Yorke said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Everybody else is getting a chance. People want to point the finger and say you need experience, but I haven't seen (Rangers manager Steven) Gerrard have much experience, I haven't seen (Derby manager Frank) Lampard have much experience, (Charlton boss) Lee Bowyer doesn't have any, Joey Barton (at Fleetwood), but it's ok for them."


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Sol Campbell pictured during England Under-21 training in November 2018
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