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 By PA Sport

Kick It Out chairman: Football League should enforce Rooney Rule

Brighton boss Chris Hughton is one of only two BAME managers in the top four divisions.

The chair of anti-discrimination group Kick It Out has said sanctions should be enforced if Football League (EFL) clubs fail to interview black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) candidates who have applied for jobs.

Lord Herman Ouseley said an EFL pilot of the Rooney Rule at academy level had worked to an extent, with 11 academy jobs going to BAME candidates.

All 72 EFL clubs signed up to the pilot, meaning they must include at least one BAME candidate on the shortlist for an academy post if such an application is received.

Ten clubs extended that process to include roles with their first teams.

Of those 10, four -- Birmingham, Chesterfield, Coventry and Wolves -- changed manager last season, making eight changes between them, but Ouseley said a BAME coach was interviewed in just two of those instances.

He said: "The EFL deserves praise for getting this pilot off the ground.

"While it has not as yet yielded the results many hoped it would, it nevertheless took us further than before because some black, Asian and minority ethnic qualified coaches got interviews for academy posts. Eleven actually got jobs, which is better than what has gone before.

"There is a genuine commitment from the EFL to move forward positively, and they require support and encouragement from everyone who wants to see the game become more inclusive."

Ouseley said he felt the game needed "root-and-branch reform" and added: "For maximum effectiveness, that would have to be backed up by penalties and sanctions for non-compliance because, as the pilot shows, clubs have got away with doing little or nothing to achieve fair outcomes.

"That position is untenable and unacceptable in 2017."

By the end of last season, the number of BAME managers in the top four divisions of English football had fallen to only two -- Brighton's Chris Hughton and Carlisle's Keith Curle -- despite BAME players accounting for more than a quarter of the players making up professional squads.


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