ibusinesslines.com September 23, 2018

Can the 'Rooney Rule' reduce racism in football?

10 January 2018, 11:01 | Justin Tyler

FA introduces ‘Rooney Rule’ for England roles by Dave Filmer Published

Changes Martin Glenn

"What we're seeing now is more BAME players", Glenn said, "and what we want to do is make sure that post their playing career there's an opportunity for them to carry on contributing, and that they feel the FA is also for them".

I'd just say it's not enough on its own.

The Rooney Rule, is named after NFL diversity committee chairman Dan Rooney and necessitates that clubs in American football must interview at least one BAME candidate for each head coach or senior football operation vacancy.

There are now just five BAME coaches across the 92 English Football League clubs but Glenn said he hoped the rule would have a trickle-down effect.

Following the FA's introduction of the system, at least one BAME candidate will be interviewed for every role within the England team set-up, as long as the recruitment criteria is met.

Glenn said he hoped more opportunities would arise but also stressed that at the FA the rule would apply "to football staff all round", meaning a future manager would have to consider ethnic minority candidates when assembling a back-room team.

Senior executives at the FA apologised to England women's players Eni Aluko and Drew Spence and admitted serious failings within the organisation in front of a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee past year.

The Sports People's Think Tank reported in November that 22 of 482 coaching roles across 92 clubs in the top four professional leagues in England were held by BAME coaches.

The Rooney Rule was named after campaigning Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, who died past year.

In August of 2017, Chelsea Ladies striker Aluko said she was victimised for reporting discrimination by ex-England women's team manager Mark Sampson.

Asked about the review of the culture surrounding the England women's team, Glenn added: "I think culturally what women will be prepared to put up with has been a bit different from guys".

The FA is now working with UK Sport to create clarity on codes of conduct for players and coaches. But I think more subtly we did not have the right climate in place for people to feel they could raise their concerns easily.

That incident led to a British government hearing in which Glenn and FA chairman Greg Clarke were questioned about the FA's culture.

Kick It Out chair Lord Ouseley believes the FA's proposals represent a big step towards making football "a game inclusive for all".

Glenn insisted Ashworth remains head of the FA's technical division but that his focus should be on assisting England manager Gareth Southgate with World Cup preparations while "cultural changes" are made across the women's game.

FA Cup prize money will be more than doubled, while the Wembley national stadium debt is meant to be cleared by the end of 2024.

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