Rooney Rule has to be worth a go
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.