Premier League Boss Promises to Consider Introduction of ‘Rooney Rule’

Daily Mail (London), September 9, 2011

Premier League boss Richard Scudamore has promised to listen to pleas to bring the NFL’s positive discrimination ‘Rooney Rule’ to the English game.

Scudamore met PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor earlier this week to discuss the idea, which would require clubs to shortlist at least one ethnic minority candidate when they make an external managerial appointment.

Many observers have long noted the lack of black managers involved in English football.

And Scudamore told the Mirror: ‘We were invited to a presentation this week and it was important for us to hear what it was about.

‘I know that Gordon is very much in favour of this and it something that we can discuss with the clubs.

‘We believe in diversity and it is right that the entire game makes sure that opportunities are open to everybody, irrespective of their colour.’

Under Premier League rules, any change in rules require at least two third of support, meaning at least 14 of the 20 clubs.

The Football League have responded to the situation with the following statement.

‘The Football League supports the aim of helping coaches from all backgrounds reach their full potential as it will ensure that the very best coaches are available to the English game. Therefore, we are working with other football stakeholders to evaluate ways of improving the current situation before engaging in discussions with clubs.

‘The League has also agreed to contribute towards a bursary scheme, in conjunction with other football bodies, that will help black and minority ethnic coaches to further their football qualifications and progress their career.’

There are only two black managers–Charlton’s Chris Powell and Chris Hughton at Birmingham–in the four English divisions, yet hundreds of black players.

Former West Bromwich defender Brendon Batsonn said earlier this week that the paucity of black managers in English football was an embarrassment and thinks introducing the ‘Rooney Rule’ could help address the imbalance.

Batson said: ‘It’s quite clear we’re not getting the best talent available and we have to look at this concept.

‘It’s about trying to get the best candidate for the job. If you are not casting that net far enough to scoop up the best talent, then are you really giving your club the best chance possible?

‘The NFL franchise owners all saw it as an opportunity to improve not only the image of the game but their own results as well.

‘This is about making sure the person who fits the position the best gets an interview. It’s still up to the people interviewing to make their choice.’

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  • Maximus

    Well this is going to be hard to pull off. In England fans become members of the club they support and they have a certain level of influence. Some fans are dues paying members that will simply stop supporting a club that hires an unqualified black manager that could potentially lead them to relegation. Unlike the NFL, teams in the top English league (Premier) have to finish in the top 17 out of 20 teams or face relegation to a lower division. No team is going to take a chance on a “diversity hire” The clubs mentioned above with black managers are both below the Premier league.

  • Anonymous

    There’s a total lack of actual evidence that says blacks aren’t in those positions because they are being racially discriminated against. The assumption that the cause is white racism is disgusting and racist, whether it’s a minority or a white making that assumption, it makes no difference. Without proof, it’s a racist assumption. The assumption being that perceived minority failings or underrepresentation are due to white racism. Where’s the proof, Jack? Unbelievable…

  • SKIP

    What is the sports team equivalant of Detroit?

  • Madison Grant

    The Rooney Rule is a looney rule.

    In 2003 the Detroit Lions planned to hire Steve Marriuci, a white man, as head coach. Because of the Rooney Rule, the team were obliged to contact five black tokens and invited them to interview for the job.

    All five blacks refused to show up because they quite reasonably decided that since they had no chance of being hired there was no reason to waste their weekend flying to Detroit and back.

    The upside? The Lions were hit with a $200,000 fine because the five invited blacks were a no-show. Sheer madness.

    http://tinyurl.com/3vgxkh4

  • Anonymous

    People should be hired by merit/qualifications, not race. These types of ‘you must hire X number of candidates that are of Y race’ are ridiculous. Perhaps blacks are better athletes than footie managers?

  • rjp

    Biggest downside of hiring a black coach / GM, the team can’t get rid of them, and no how poorly they do, they will never retire (because nothing is ever their fault). So the teams are stuck with them for the entire length of the contract.

  • Anonymoose

    The “Rooney” rule and affirmative action are not the same thing. The minority candidates interview under the “Rooney” rule generally have the same qualifications as the white candidates, usually professional playing experience or coaching experience elsewhere.

    This differs from affirmative action, which often sets up two tiers of qualifications, one for whites and one for minorities. Whites cannot apply under the minority qualification no what circumstances or situation they have experienced.

    Affirmative action sets up whites as an offending monopoly class under anti-trust law, and allows onerous treatment of whites in retaliation for alleged past offenses.

    The “Rooney” rule does no such thing. It merely requites teams to interview similarly qualified minority candidates. The end result has been an increase in minorities in coaching and management positions.

    But this seems to have been accomplished without the onerous excesses of affirmative action. Today, there may be less “caste” football on the sidelines than there is on the field. But blame caste football on the colleges primarily. The NFL can only work with the talent the colleges produce.

  • The American Professional Football Association was founded in 1920 at a car dealership in Canton, Ohio. Jim Thorpe was elected as the first president.