Russell Latapy has made his intentions clear. He would grab at the opportunity to be the first team manager of the club in the United Kingdom, preferably Scotland where he has now spent the past 18 years of his life.
“I have been here for a long time now, around 18 years all in. I know the Scottish game, the Scottish people. The reality is that if I want to make my mark as coach it will have to happen in Europe,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I trust Scottish football to give me a fair chance at management. I believe eventually it will happen. One of the issues in the past was that a lot of the black players who played the game never took coaching badges,” said Latapy, who now holds a UEFA Pro License coaching badge which is the top of the list.
“They just didn’t believe they would get the opportunity. But there are a lot of black ex-players now as qualified as anyone else. I am one of them. It’s only a matter of time before someone comes on the scene and makes a statement. Listen, I don’t know if I think I’ll be the first successful black manager in Scotland. I just think I want an opportunity to show what I can do. I think positive all the time. Why can’t it be me? I think about the game. About what I can do.
“They have over 100 clubs down there. So that’s approximately 150 managers across the UK. But you can count on the fingers of one hand how many of them are black on one hand.”
But he believe that opportunities for black managers are improving.
“It’s like everything else. Things change. I see a process of change now. Whatever race or nationality you are I don’t believe jobs should be allocated based on the colour of your skin,” he said
The topic of his night out with Dwight Yorke mere days before a Scottish Cup Finals in 2001 still comes up and Latapy said times have changed.
“Dwight and I prefer a glass of wine and a nice meal now and arrange a round of golf instead of hitting the town,’ he claims. ‘It’s normal for us to be up at 7am for 18 holes.
“We don’t find fun the way we used to these days. I’ve always enjoyed my life, I enjoyed a night out. I still do. But your wants and your needs change as you get a bit older. Dwight Yorke is still my friend but he’s a bit older now as well,” ‘Latas’ added.