Taylor claims hidden racism in football

Football should introduce the NFL’s Rooney Rule for ethinic minority candidates

Huddersfield Town manager Chris Powell, one of only two black football managers in the top four English divisions, celebrates with fans  Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Huddersfield Town manager Chris Powell, one of only two black football managers in the top four English divisions, celebrates with fans Nick Potts/PA Wire.

 

Gordon Taylor claims “there is a hidden racism which holds clubs back” with the appointment of black and ethnic minority managers.

English football’s top four divisions have only two black managers — with Chris Powell and Keith Curle given chances by Huddersfield and Carlisle respectively last month.

Now Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Taylor has called for an “open and transparent” recruitment process which means bosses are employed on merit.

He told BBC Sport: “It should be based on merit. I know these black players have got merit as players and they’ve got merit as coaches.

“I can give you a list of black players who’ve become coaches, who’ve got their (UEFA) A Licence and B Licence, who’ve gone all the way up the ranks and got the Pro Licence and aren’t getting opportunities.

“I know for a fact they’ve got that merit but there is a hidden racism that seems to hold clubs back.” Taylor continued: “Huddersfield have shown courage, based on sound sense, with the appointment of Chris Powell.

He is not only a top class person, he was a top class footballer and will be an absolute top class manager — as he’s proved already with Charlton.”

The 69-year-old wants to see English football adopt the Rooney Rule, used in the NFL to ensure ethnic minority candidates are adequately represented in the interview process for head coaching positions.

Former England midfielder and Blackpool boss Paul Ince has spoken out in favour of the system and Taylor asked: “Can we not have a recruitment policy that is open and transparent and contains minority ethnic people who are qualified and have worked hard? No one can say they’re not qualified.

“They have the Rooney Rule in the American gridiron game because they had a similarly high number of black players but no black coaches.

“The rule was introduced to say ‘look, just make sure you at least interview some of these lads who want to stay in the game’. They found, not unsurprisingly, they had some real quality black players who become top class coaches.

“But in this country that’s not happened and we’re merely asking — I say merely because it’s hard enough to get — for a recruitment process that is open and transparent.”

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