Newcastle star Callum Wilson speaks candidly of ‘ever present’ racism fear after Ivan Toney abuse verdict

The Newcastle United striker spoke with West Ham man Michail Antonio as they argued that the racist Ivan Toney abuser should have received a lifelong ban.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson has shared his hesitancy to take on a managerial role once his playing career has finished due to the "very present" threat of racism in the game.

The Magpies striker discussed the breakthrough sentencing of a Blyth man, who racially abused Brentford star Ivan Toney on social media last year, alongside West Ham forward Michail Antonio and presenter Rickie Haywood-Williams on the BBC Sounds' Footballers Football Podcast.

The three men praised the steps forward in prosecuting such hate crimes but, with culprit Antonio Neill only banned from UK stadiums for three years, asked why that barring wasn't permanent.

Wilson, who has completed a few of his coaching badges, admitted incidents like that one are likely to dissuade future black managers from taking roles.

In 2022, a report highlighted that while 43% of Premier League and 34% of English Football League players are black, a mere 4.4% of managers are black.

A lowly 14% of those with a UEFA Pro Licence - the top coaching qualification - are black. Furthermore, only 1.6% of people in executive, leadership and ownership positions are black.

Wilson said: "For me, racism is still a very present thing in football and that is probably what puts a lot of black players off.

"Now and again throughout the journeys through the leagues, they might have experienced some form of racism from fans. They might think, why am I going to go back and put myself in the firing line again?

Callum Wilson said ever-present racism through the leagues will dissuade hopeful black managers (Image: Getty Images)
Callum Wilson said ever-present racism through the leagues will dissuade hopeful black managers (Image: Getty Images)
Callum Wilson said ever-present racism through the leagues will dissuade hopeful black managers (Image: Getty Images)

"Only this week someone has been banned for being racist to Ivan Toney, so it's still very present and that might be what's putting black players off being managers."

Fellow podcast host Michail Antonio also spoke on the matter, sharing a message of solidarity to Patrick Viera, who was sacked by Crystal Palace on Friday, and Chris Hughton as two bosses fighting the representation figures.

He said: "Just look at Viera. How well he did last year with Crystal Palace then there were links with other clubs. He's never once been mentioned for moving on and getting a bigger opportunity.

"A great manager I always think about and remember is Chris Hughton. He was quality. Some of the sackings that he got I thought were quite harsh - Norwich and Newcastle."