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[quote]Football clubs may be forced to shortlist black managers Face in the crowd: Chris Hughton,
the Birmingham City manager, is just one of two black managers in the Football League
The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) are
investigating the possibility of forcing clubs to put black
candidates on shortlists for
managerial vacancies.
Since Paul Ince left Notts County in April, only two of the 92
English league teams have black managers, Chris Powell at
Charlton and Birmingham's Chris
Discussions with the men who brought about the implementation of the 'Rooney Rule' in the United States, credited with getting the NFL to a position where two black coaches faced each other in last season's Super Bowl, are at an
early stage, with further talks are
Gordon Taylor, the PFA chief executive, feels it is an avenue
that has to be explored.
"In football terms, we are the most cosmopolitan country in the world," said Taylor. "There is
no distinction between colour, creed, nationality or background. "However, the PFA spends a lot of money training players for the future and understandably, one
of the most obvious areas of interest is coaching and
management. For some reason the number of black people who actually get a chance in this area is very small."
The same situation used to exist in the NFL until the Rooney Rule was drafted by civil rights lawyer
Cyrus Mehri.
Implemented in 2003, the Rooney Rule was forced to overcome some initial teething
However, once the NFL showed they were prepared to take
tough action against clubs who did not follow the law - fining the Detroit Lions $200,000 for not
interviewing an African-American
for their vacant head coach's job in 2003 - teams fell into line. Taylor feels a similar situation in England would be a win-win
outcome given the increasing clamour for success. "All we are asking for is an interview," he
said. "But the more times people attend interviews, the greater the likelihood of them eventually
getting a job. "This has to be a good thing
because it broadens panel of potential managers and coaches clubs are selecting from and
opens up the possibility of
greater experience.
"That should be what every club is looking for anyway."
Invited by Taylor, Mehri met members of the PFA, League
Managers' Association, the Football Association, Football
League and Premier League at Wembley on Tuesday, ahead of
England's victory over Wales.
"We are committed to this issue and Cyrus' experiences can offer
us an insight and some solutions
that can begin to address a concern that will not go away on
its own," said Taylor.
"Twenty years ago, Cyrille Regis and Luther Blissett did not try to carve out a career in management because they did not feel they would get a proper
"In 2011, it is in no-one's interests for potential managers
to be put off for similar reasons.
We will not be taking this off our agenda." [/quote]

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