Rooney Rule has to be worth a go

The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

THE in­ter­view with Leroy Rosenior (p4-5) makes fas­ci­nat­ing read­ing – and throws up some in­ter­est­ing points. One of the main ones is about the lack of Black, Asian and Mi­nor­ity Eth­nic (BAME) man­agers in English foot­ball.

The fact there are just three in the EFL at present – Brighton’s Chris Hughton, Carlisle’s Keith Curle and Grimsby’s Mar­cus Big­not – is a sign they are not be­ing given op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Leroy, him­self, earned a pro­mo­tion with Torquay United, but found the phone stopped ring­ing af­ter an ill-fated stint at Brent­ford.

And that is one of the ar­gu­ments thrown up. Some white man­agers seem to be able to get on and off the man­age­rial merry-go-round re­peat­edly, but chances for black man­agers appear to dis­ap­pear if they have a ‘fail­ure’.

Bear­ing in mind the num­ber of black play­ers in the game, it is re­mark­able there are so few man­agers and coaches. Or is it?

Be­cause the peo­ple in the po­si­tion to ap­point them are more of­ten than not white, mid­dle-aged men who may, con­sciously or oth­er­wise, pre­fer not to choose them.

Rosenior be­lieves the Rooney Rule is worth try­ing – and so do we. The re­quire­ment for NFL teams in the USA to in­ter­view mi­nor­ity can­di­dates for head coach­ing roles came into force back in 2003, partly in re­sponse to some con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sions by fran­chises to sack black head coaches.

Some say it is to­kenism and that chair­men will have al­ready made up their minds about who they are go­ing to ap­point. But Rosenior be­lieves that the chance of an in­ter­view is po­ten­tially the chance to make an im­pres­sion and per­haps sway minds.

The EFL have in­tro­duced the rule for acad­emy posts this sea­son and ten clubs have taken it on vol­un­tar­ily at first team level.

Will it work? Maybe, maybe not. But surely it has to be worth a go. Un­less you do some­thing dif­fer­ent, you’re li­able to al­ways get the same re­sult. And foot­ball is for all.

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