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.’