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Powell backs English 'Rooney Rule'

Chris Powell

Former PFA Chairman and current Huddersfield Town FC manager Chris Powell has backed calls for English football to produce a 'Rooney Rule' similar to that in America.

The Rooney Rule was introduced in 2003 by the NFL to ensure minority coaches are on the interview lists for job vacancies. It states clubs must interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate when appointing a new head coach.

The PFA has lobbied for the introduction of an English adaptation of the Rooney Rule since 2011, with PFA chief Executive Gordon Taylor adding recently that football suffers from “a hidden racism which holds clubs back” when it comes to appointing black managers.

Speaking on the NFL, Taylor stated: “They have the Rooney Rule in grid-iron because they similarly had a high number of black players but no black coaches.

"The rule was introduced to say look, at least make sure you’ve interviewed some of these players who want to stay in the game and then they found, not unsurprisingly, that they had some real quality players who became top-class black coaches. But in this country that’s not happened and we are merely asking for a recruitment process that is open and transparent and does exactly that.”

Huddersfield Town manager Chris Powell (one of only two black managers in the Football League) told talkSPORT: “I think there’s an avenue we can go down, not entirely the Rooney Rule, but still an avenue, because people get despondent, black coaches and ethnic minority coaches do get despondent. I’ve spoken to them, I’ve had chats with them in the summer at St George’s Park.

“There’s a lot of work going on at the FA and at the PFA but there’s a long way to go.

“I just feel the Premier League, the Football League, the PFA and the LMA, they all have to – if they’re serious about it – get around the table and see what route is best for us in the UK.”