Chris Ramsey has backed Rio Ferdinand to make it as a manager and believes the path is becoming easier for black and ethnic minority coaches.
Ferdinand impressed Ramsey while studying for his coaching badges at QPR last season, when bringing his playing days to an end.
Ramsey, speaking at the Leaders in Sport business summit in London, said: “Last season, Rio was doing his badges and I think he will end up becoming a manager.
“He’s got a lot of knowledge, had a lot of top class experience, he’s got a desire to do it and at the moment he’s educating himself holistically in what management entails.
You hear him speak and he’s got a presence about him that players will take to. He’ll be the type of person who will be able to share a lot of his experiences.
“Could he manage England one day? Why not? As long as he has the desire to carry on in the vein he is now.
“There’s no reason why he shouldn’t go on to manage at the highest level and manage England someday.”
The Football League is to pioneer a version of the ‘Rooney rule’ to boost the number of BME bosses – there are only five black managers at the 72 clubs and none in the Premier League.
Ramsey believes Ferdinand going into management could inspire a new generation of BME coaches.
“It would inspire other people to follow in his footsteps and it would inspire some of the players who are coming to the end of their careers but are slightly younger than him to go that route, “Ramsey said.
“I think the new breed will have it slightly easier. Things have changed more recently.
“We don’t want tokenism but what we do need to do is get a door open so people can display their talents and be in the pack.”
The Football League’s approach starts next season and will see five to 10 clubs piloting a “voluntary recruitment code” to interview a BME candidate for any first-team managerial or coaching position.
All clubs must also interview at least one BME candidate for all youth development roles requiring a minimum of a UEFA B coaching licence.