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Rule would be 'wrong'

Simon Jordan told The FF Show the FA must address the lack of black managers in the game - but says an equivalent of the 'Rooney Rule' is not the solution.

Last Updated: 19/04/13 at 12:01 Post Comment

Players' union chief Gordon Taylor has backed the Coaching Fair Play plan, which aims to increase the number of qualified candidates from ethnic minorities interviewed for managerial vacancies, and the Football League and Premier League chairman are set to decide on if and how it is implemented this summer.

The scheme is similar to the 'Rooney Rule' in the NFL which was set up ten years ago by Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney to ensure coaches from ethnic minorities are interviewed for vacant coaching positions.

Currently there are just five black managers in English football's top four divisions, out of 92 clubs.

However, former Crystal Palace chairman and owner Jordan - who revealed that during his time at Palace he didn't receive a single job application from a black coach - said he was concerned by the idea.

"It troubles me to some extent," he said.

"I don't think influencing something because of someone's race and colour and making a quota is the right way to do it.

"Owning Crystal Palace for ten years, in a club that sits with multi-ethnicity as part of its core supporter base, I never had a black applicant apply for the [manager's] job at Crystal Palace - and there were quite a few opportunities for that over the years.

"If there aren't black managers applying for jobs - and my club is an example of where there could be opportunities - how can you artificially create a situation where you have to interview people of colour and creed by the very nature of a protocol? I think it's wrong, dangerous."

Jordan was also critical of the suggestion opportunities may be limited for qualified coaches from ethnic minorities because of racism within the game.

"The accusation that underpins all this is that there are certain perspectives in football that are institutionally racist and prejudicing opportunities. I don't know a football club chairman in this country that operates in that way.

"My concern with this issue is ultimately people's agendas are being served which aren't for the wellbeing of the game.

"If you talk to members of the black community they don't want that, they don't want positive discrimination, they want people to get there by their own merit."

Problem

Peterborough United chairman and owner Darragh MacAnthony said he was willing to back the scheme in the hope it would boost the number of coaches from ethnic minorities in the game.

However, he said his concern was less with the number of non-white managers in charge of clubs, but the lack of players from ethnic minorities going into coaching when they retire.

"It shouldn't be about the colour of skin; it doesn't matter. I'm going to hire the best man for the job," he said.

"If [the scheme] helps and makes a difference, brilliant - do it and see what happens. But I'm more worried about the lack of coaches, the lack of licenses, the lack of qualifications and going right to the root of the problem, not just from the managerial point of view.

"The numbers don't stack up. There are only 14 black managers with UEFA Pro Licenses out of 188 out there. There's definitely a problem and it needs to be resolved."

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