Football League: Greg Clarke will lead review into black managers

In 2014 Paul Ince and Dion Dublin discussed the issue on Football Focus

A review into the under-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) managers and coaches at lower league clubs is to be led by Football League chairman Greg Clarke.

Among the 72 teams in the Championship and Leagues One and Two, only Chris Powell of Huddersfield and Carlisle United's Keith Curle are BAME managers.

"It is an issue that needs a careful and thoughtful appraisal," Clarke said.

The move was agreed at a meeting in London on Thursday.

The Football Association, Professional Footballers' Association, League Managers' Association, Football Supporters' Federation and the Kick It Out charity will be consulted, with the report published and its findings discussed at the League's club meeting at the end of the season.

In a statement on Thursday, Clarke reaffirmed that the issue is "an important matter", adding "we have consistently recognised the imbalance in representation at first-team manager level but have yet to see a comprehensive solution being proposed".

What is the 'Rooney Rule'?
The 'Rooney Rule' was established in 2003 and named after Dan Rooney, owner of American Football side the Pittsburgh Steelers and the chairman of the NFL's diversity committee. It requires NFL teams to interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation opportunities that become available, as part of a transparent and open recruitment process.

Clarke was accused of "hiding behind excuses" and of being "disingenuous" after trying to explain why the issue was not raised at the League's annual general meeting in 2013.

Former footballer Garth Crooks, 56, called on the chairman to "consider his position" and claimed he had "bottled it" by not raising the prospect of the Rooney Rule.

However, Clarke insisted he would not resign, and said he has "fought behind the scenes" for the interests of black managers.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, he added: "We're not discounting the Rooney Rule; we're saying let's get some data and see exactly what the problem is then move to finding the right solution. We can't leap straight from problem to solution."

"There aren't enough black, Asian and minority ethnic managers in the English game but there may need to be three or four things we need to do to solve the situation."

A further Football League meeting is scheduled for 6 November to agree the "terms of reference".

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