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Chris Hughton feels there is an ‘enthusiasm for change’ over roles for black managers

Chris Hughton’s Brighton are a point behind Championship leaders Newcastle

Chris Hughton feels there is a “real enthusiasm for change” to give equal opportunities for black managers in the English game.

The Brighton boss is one of three black first-team managers employed at one of England’s 92 professional clubs.

He is keen for the change he says he has already seen at grassroots and in academies level to be replicated in first teams at the highest level.

“There is no doubt that the balances are not right,” said Hughton.

“It is going to be about talking around the table as much as possible, highlighting it as much as possible and looking to see change.

“Where I have seen change is at grassroots level and academy level. I think everybody wants to see that at first-team level up through the leagues.

“I do think there is a real enthusiasm to want change.”

In June last year, Football League clubs approved proposals to introduce a ‘Rooney Rule’ for academy jobs in a bid to increase the number of black and ethnic minority coaches.

Clubs must now include at least one suitably qualified BME candidate on the interview shortlist if such an application is received.

In addition, 10 of the 72 EFL clubs have volunteered to pilot a similar scheme in their first-team recruitment process during 2016-17.

Hughton was speaking at Tuesday’s Black List Awards,