Burnley boss Sean Dyche believes British managers are fighting against “branded jeans” syndrome as owners and fans continue to favour foreign appointments.
Dyche is one of just six homegrown managers preparing for the new Premier League season, rising to seven if Hull caretaker Mike Phelan is included.
Seven teams have made full-time appointments for the coming campaign, with only Sunderland choosing a British coach in David Moyes.
Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte have landed huge jobs at Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, with Claude Puel, Walter Mazzarri and Ronald Koeman taking over at Southampton, Watford and Everton respectively.
And Dyche, who guided the Clarets back to the Premier League at the first attempt last term, believes the playing field is not entirely level.
“Generally there is still this edge towards foreign coaches and managers,” he said.
“Why do you buy a branded pair of jeans rather than the other pair? Because you think they’re better, but they might not be.
“I think there’s a bit of that, sometimes it’s just a bigger name is a bigger name. There’s foreign owners, there’s lots of foreign players, so it might be that a foreign manager is chosen to work with foreign players,
“There’s a bit of spin. There’s still a thirst from the populous for foreign managers and foreign players. They’re a bit more snazzy, ‘let’s see what this Belgian manager or this Argentinian manager can do’.
“It seems to me it’s still there, it has been for a number of years, and I don’t think it’s radically changing.”
Dyche’s reputation is strong within the game and his two promotions in three seasons at Turf Moor, not to mention the manner of their fight against relegation in between, mark him out as a major talent.
But he still feels that foreign faces are treated with greater reverence by the media.
“Antonio Conte came in at Chelsea and he got commended for bringing a hard, fast, new leadership to Chelsea, which involved doing 800m runs, 400m runs and 200m runs,” he said.
“I thought that was interesting because if you see us doing that you’d say we’re running them round in circles – ‘a young English dinosaur manager. Doesn’t know what he’s doing’. At Chelsea under Conte everyone thinks it’s amazing.
“I saw (City defender Gael Clichy) talking about the diet that Pep has brought in. He’s stopped pizza…he’s a genius already in my view.
“The year before Claudio Ranieri was adding pizza at Leicester. Two geniuses, one adding pizza and one taking it away.
“I’m being flippant but I’m being serious as well. It’s true, that is the misperception.
“Clichy was talking about how this new diet was amazing, saying we don’t eat junk food. We’ve been doing that since I got here. I did it at Watford, so do other English managers.”
Dyche, 45, was mentioned as a possible England manager before Sam Allardyce took the job last month, as was Bournemouth’s 38-year-old Eddie Howe.
But he believes neither he nor Howe are ready.
“We’re nowhere near ready, us youngsters. We’re kids in the grand scheme of things,” he said.
“We’re novice hurdlers, we’re still learning. It’s preposterous for any of us young managers to be linked with the England job.”