KICK It Out were delighted yesterday with the Football Association’s decision to introduce the Rooney Rule for future roles within the England set-up when hiring the next England manager.
Chief executive Martin Glenn said the FA will adopt its own version of the rule, which will see it shortlist at least one candidate from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, when hiring Gareth Southgate’s replacement and Kick It Out are looking forward to helping England’s football governing body implement the rule.
“Kick It Out welcomes the proposals put forward today by The FA,” they said.
“The organisation will be looking to work closely with English football’s governing body to ensure the successful implementation and monitoring of its aims with regards to achieving equality, inclusion and cohesion.”
Football League clubs introduced their own version of the rule on January 1 and Kick It Out chair Herman Ouseley said it was a “watershed moment” for the sport.
“I looked to The Football Association to give leadership on the matter of equality, inclusion and cohesion and I now expect those in positions of power across professional football, along with the FA, to drive forward the highest standards of activity in order to achieve these objectives which will benefit everyone who participates in the game.”
Glenn added that it is the duty of the FA to set an example.
In November, Sports People’s Think Tank said 22 of 482 coaching roles in the top four divisions were held by BAME coaches.
Asked if the rule would be used to determine the next England manager, Glenn replied: “Absolutely. We are there to set an example.
“I think the Rooney Rule on its own isn’t enough. All the other programmes about building the pipeline of talented young BAME coaches is also important at the same time.
“We are also quite a big employer as well if you think about the number of England teams now, if you include men’s, women’s and disability.
“I think in talking to people at the Premier League and the FA, I don’t see any resistance to it and to be fair the EFL has a Rooney rule in place.”
There are five BAME managers working in England’s top four divisions. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Northampton, Carlisle’s Keith Curle, Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves and Chesterfield boss Jack Lester. Brighton manager Chris Hughton is the only non-white head coach in the Premier League.
The FA’s new plan laid out their response to the issues thrown up by the Eni Aluko affair, which eventually led to the sacking of England women’s team manager Mark Sampson. A new whistle-blowing policy for players will now be established following the controversy.
“She [Eni] was asked and this is a sport wide issue,” Glenn added. “We consulted with UK Sport and they were delighted to work with us. How can elite players in a programme make a complaint and not jeopardise their place.
“UK Sport specifically asked to talk to Eni and she made some very useful suggestions which have largely been incorporated.”
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