Barnes claims his colour stops him getting work

Barnes believes he is being frozen out of the game
Barnes believes he is being frozen out of the game

Former Celtic manager John Barnes claims he is struggling to get a job in management because he is black.

The former Liverpool star's last managerial job was at Tranmere in 2009, where he lasted four months before being sacked.

The 51-year-old has previously been in charge of Celtic and the Jamaica national team and he suggests that had he been white he would have got another job.

"A white manager loses his job and gets another job, he loses his job, he gets another job," he told John Barnes: Sports Life Stories, to be broadcast on ITV4 on Tuesday.

"Very few black managers can lose their job and get another job.

"What I can judge it from is by looking at society. How many black people are there in the higher echelons of any industry? We can talk about journalism, we can talk about politics. So why should football be any different?"

Barnes' first job in management, at Celtic for the 1999-2000 season, ended in the wake of an embarrassing Scottish Cup defeat to Inverness, but he denied that job was too much too soon.

He said: "Well, if it comes now at 51, I don't think it will be any different. It's more to do with the perception of my ability to do the job, because there's a certain perception of who can make a good manager."

Barnes' former England team-mate Ian Wright agreed that the colour of his skin was counting against Barnes.

The former Arsenal man said: "With someone of John Barnes' ability and stature, to not have worked more in the game with something that he's desperate to do. I don't know what else it can be?"