Anorak News | Wolves boss Terry Connor is Oliver Holt’s white man’s burden

Wolves boss Terry Connor is Oliver Holt’s white man’s burden

by | 21st, March 2012

WOLVES are bottom of the Premier League. Their manager is Terry Connor. He’s black. Oliver Holt notices. He writes in the Mirror:

Why the sick wolves are already howling for Terry Connor’s blood

I am indebted to Terry Connor for enticing a new snail’s trail of morons and trolls to come slipping and sliding out of the compost heap… ‘So much for black managers, eh? This is what happens when you go down that route.’

Who says that? Morons and trolls, that’s who. Who listens to morons and trolls? Answer: other morons and trolls and newspaper writers looking for an angle:

Well, thank you very much, because this is indeed what happens. This is what happens when you give a black Englishman a job in the Premier League. What happens is that he is judged by different, harsher criteria. Subliminally, perhaps. But the effect is the same.

Wolves are bottom of the Premier League. Wolves sacked Mick McCarthy on 13 February. Connor was appointed on 24 February. Connor has been manager for four matches. FOUR. Wolves have drawn 2 and lost three of them, including two 5-0 defeats.

Connor should, of course, be given a full season in the job. If he was good enough in a crisis in the Premier League, he is good enough to to manage a side more of his own design in the Championship. But chairman and boards get the jitters. Sacking McCarthy was an error. Connor has taken on a tough job.

Holt turns to racism:

It is more deeply embedded. It is subtler, too. And it is an awful lot harder to tackle than one man racially abusing another.

Of course it is. Look at the elite institutions in this country. See any black faces in the massed ranks of the Royal Family and their kin? See many darker faces on the front benches in Westminster? Look past Ed Miliband the assimilated Jew and see if you can spot the black man? See many black faces at the Leveson Inquiry into media standards, any black editors of national papers or black leader writers? Racism is deeply embedded. When Tam Dalyell MP said that Tony Blair was “unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers”, Jews winced. It was a lie that played into a fear.


The issue here is not whether Mick McCarthy should have been sacked as Wolves boss in the first place.

He shouldn’t.

Nor is there any suggestion that the fans have singled Connor out for criticism more than they did McCarthy.

They haven’t.


But let’s put it this way; if another manager had taken over at Wolves, say Alan Curbishley or Steve Bruce, the tone of the wider reaction to recent reverses would have been more understanding.

Would it? Are tolls and morons understanding people? Curbishley and Bruce have experience. They have managed teams in the Premier League before. Is it only racism that would save them from the trolls and the morons? Holt then says Connor has not been afforded the respect her deserves; the respect that would surely have been afforded to his white counterparts.

Even after his first defeat at Fulham, people were saying he was out of his depth.

And they would not have done that had he been white? Wolves lost 5-0. In their previous match they had trailed Newcastle 2-0, only to draw level.

After two more losses, the most recent a 5-0 trouncing by Manchester United on Sunday, full-scale panic has set in.

Because he’s black?

…When Connor was offered it, he may have looked around and seen only three other black managers at England’s 92 football league clubs.


He may have figured that chances like this don’t come along very often if you are a black coach in English football and that he had better grab it with both hands.

Wolves wanted Alan Curbishley. He turned the job down. So. It was offered to Connor. Connor, who has been with the club for 13 years, would be given chance to manage a Premier League football club. And, according to Holt, he may have taken it because he’s black and the game is prejudiced against black managers.

That may be so.

But Holt never said that was his reason. He never mentioned his skin colour being a factor in his decision making. Holt does. Holt who is white and connected – his mother is Coronation Street actress Eileen Derbyshire – sees Connor as an emblem. Connor is in danger of being the white man’s burdern.

Holt is right about one thing, though: if you’re a member of an ethnic minority you can do anything but fail. The ethnic must work especially hard and behave noticeably well.

But Holt does not speak with Connor. He doesn’t ask the individual. He sees Connor as being part of a group. Holt ceases to be an individual. As such, Connor becomes a victim of the prejudice Holt detests. Connor not only has to do his job well, he also has to be an example, a media role model.

Holt ends:

And now many are deriding him as a fool and an incompetent after four games. Next thing, people will be saying there aren’t enough black ex-players taking their coaching badges. I wonder why that is.

Ask them. And show them the morons and slime oozing from the compost heap. Racists are easy to spot. Many are proud of it. You don’t need to go on twitter and look for it. Is it racist for a white man to tell a white man what he thinks of him; and vice versa? If it is, we’re all in the dock…

Posted: 21st, March 2012 | In: Sports Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink