The wife of Emile Heskey ex-Liverpool and England striker Chantelle Heskey, said lack of opportunity is preventing black players from becoming coaches.
Chantelle Heskey said further that, her husband would be “first there” if more roles were available to black and minority ethnic (BAME) candidates.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s podcast The Sista Collective, she said “he’s done his badges but there’s not really much opportunity for black players”.
Heskey finished playing in 2016.
The 41-year-old, who started out in the academy at Leicester City, made more than 500 appearances in the Football League and Premier League over an 18-year career – scoring 60 times for Liverpool and winning more than 60 England caps.
But despite his interest in remaining in the game, Chantelle says “as much as he’d love to, he’s been put off applying because I don’t think there’s much for him”.
“I think the clubs should do more – giving the black players better jobs. Look at Sol Campbell, look how many caps he has and he’s managing at Macclesfield.
“They need the big clubs. Why not the England manager’s job?
“I think they definitely need to make more jobs available for black players and Emile would be the first there.
“He’s been in meetings where they’ve tried to look at this – but it just gets buried – they need a rocket up their bum.”
Campbell became the eighth BAME manager in football’s top four divisions on his appointment at League Two side Macclesfield Town in November, while more than a quarter of players in the English game are from a BAME background.
However, that number was reduced to seven last Monday after Chris Hughton was sacked as manager of Brighton and Hove Albion following their 17th-placed finish in the Premier League.
“All the good jobs seem to go to United or Chelsea players – which is a shame because they’ve all played at the same level,” Chantelle added.
“If all black players were to say ‘I quit’, the clubs would be in trouble, but I think they need to be given the opportunity to coach – it’s about trusting them.
“They can relate to the black players; they know how to talk to them.”
Tottenham and England defender Danny Rose addressed those concerns in April when he said it would be a “waste of time” to do his coaching badges.
“When I said I wanted to walk away from football, people think I was just talking about the two or three incidents that have happened on the pitch,” Rose told Sky Sports.
“When I said that, I was talking about the lack of black managers in football now, or working upstairs in football clubs.”