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Sep 9, 2011

PFA want "consensus" on Rooney Rule

Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor plans to call for a "consensus" from the whole of English football to adopt the 'Rooney Rule'.

The proposed rule works on the principle that whenever a managerial vacancy becomes available at least one black candidate for the position must be interviewed.

While it is already in practice in the United States within NFL, Taylor wants to see it adopted voluntarily across English football.

ESPNsoccernet first interviewed Taylor this week on the importance of the visit of Cyprus Mehri, the civil writs lawyer who brought about tough reforms for black managers in America, and after a meeting with football's key figures Taylor says he would like similar reforms in England.

Taylor told ESPNsoccernet: "The next stage is to achieve consensus from the leagues on a more transparent professional, structured but above all equitable recruiting system for head coaches and managers.

"Cyrus was an excellent advocate for the 'Rooney Rule'. The rule compels owners that at least one person of colour must be interviewed for any head coaching vacancy.

"Eight years later, the NFL has eight head coaches and five general managers of colour. Seven of the last ten teams to appear in the Super Bowl had either a head coach or a general manager who was African-American."

Mehri was in London on Tuesday to address leading figures on how best to bring in the rule to England. The PFA invited Mehri to this country to see how the Rooney Rule can be introduced to encourage more black managers into football.

The Rooney Rule is named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney. Mehri is widely described as "one of the most influential and perhaps feared civil rights lawyers in America". Mehri won one of the largest civil rights cases in the history of the United States in 2001 against the Coca-Cola Company for $192.5 million.

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