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England’s Football League set to adopt version of NFL’s Rooney Rule

Swansea City v Norwich City - Premier League

SWANSEA, WALES - MARCH 29: Chris Hughton, Manager of Norwich City giving instructions from the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Norwich City at Liberty Stadium on March 29, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Tony Marshall

Only six of 72 managerial positions in the Football League belong to black coaches, and England is looking toward the National Football League in an attempt to make sure that’s because of merit, not racism.

With the backing of Pittsburgh Steelers executive Dan Rooney, who came up with the NFL’s so-called Rooney Rule that mandates a minority candidate is interviewed for any vacant head coaching position, the Football League is moving forward with a plan of its own.

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And it goes a bit further, ensuring that black coaches will get to interview for youth team positions within said clubs, jobs that generally prove both as a springboard to bigger hires and resume builders.

From the BBC:
The proposals, which have received the backing of Dan Rooney, the chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the architect of the NFL’s ‘Rooney Rule’, include:

  • Five to 10 clubs will pilot a “voluntary recruitment code” to interview a BME candidate for any first-team managerial or coaching position.
  • Clubs must interview at least one BME candidate for all youth development roles requiring a minimum of a Uefa B coaching licence.
  • A ‘ready-list’ will be created of identified current BME coaches and players “with the potential and aspiration to coach in professional football” and networking opportunities improved.

This would not apply to the Premier League, which implemented its own advances this winter. And it also doesn’t apply to players getting mandatory follicle work, or smashing volleys into the goal. Those are different Rooney rules.

Follow @NicholasMendola