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Sep 6, 2011

PFA chief wants Rooney Rule

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has voiced his backing for the Rooney Rule to be implemented in English football as American lawyer Cyrus Mehri arrived in London to hold talks over the dearth of black coaches in the game.

On Tuesday, Mehri is expected to address the Football Association, Premier League, Football League and League Managers Association about the Rooney Rule - named after the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dan Rooney, and established in the NFL in 2003 - which ensures at least one black candidate is considered for a managerial vacancy.

Taylor told ESPNsoccernet: "Yes, I would like the Rooney Rule here in England, and the arrival of Cyrus Mehri will be a big boost to putting together a plan that could achieve it. Cyrus won the battle in the States to compel owners of gridiron football to interview a black candidate whenever a managerial vacancy occurred, and I would like this to happen in this country.

"Cyrus was very much the man involved in getting the Rooney Rule implemented in gridiron football. He will talk to us about the effects of having more black managers in American football and how we can achieve it here in this country.

"Let's face it, it is still very sparse the number of black managers and coaches in this country. Although we do have Chris Houghton at Birmingham and Chris Powell at Charlton, we have to make sure there is a much greater opportunity for more diversity in our game.

"The PFA has worked hard over the years with the Premier League, Football League and Mangers Association on this issue. We want more black players staying in the game and moving into coaching and management.

"We still need to maintain vigilance on respect and anti racism on the field of play, but this also needs to move forward into management and coaching. I was in Bulgaria and if there was one big disappointment it was the crowd abuse of some of England's black players."

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