English Football League clubs approve 'Rooney Rule' proposals for academies

Chris Hughton and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Brighton's Chris Hughton and QPR's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink are two of only three BME coaches in the EFL

English Football League clubs have approved proposals to introduce a 'Rooney Rule' for academy jobs in a bid to increase the number of black and ethnic minority (BME) coaches.

Clubs must now include at least one suitably qualified BME candidate on the interview shortlist if such an application is received.

In addition, 10 clubs have voluntarily extended these to first-team roles.

There are currently just three BME managers among the 72 EFL clubs.

They are Brighton's Chris Hughton, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink of QPR and Keith Curle, boss of League Two side Carlisle United.

Departing EFL chairman Greg Clarke cited the NFL's Rooney Rule as an inspiration behind the plans.

"It is absolutely essential that EFL clubs continue to reflect the communities in which they are based," he said.

"It is clear to us that we currently have an under-representation of BME managers and coaches at club level and it is therefore the right time to take proportionate action to ensure the best talent, from all backgrounds, is given a fair opportunity to enter and progress through the system.

"I believe this is an important moment for sport in this country and I'm very proud that it is our clubs that are leading the way. They have done the right thing and deserve considerable credit."

The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation opportunities that become available.

Keith Curle
Keith Curle said in 2014 that a 'Rooney rule' would not work in English football

Mandatory academy code

  • Clubs will be required to advertise any position within their academy that requires the individual to hold a Uefa A or Uefa B coaching badge on the club's website and the EFL website for a minimum of seven days.
  • Clubs must include at least one suitably qualified BME candidate (where an application has been received) on the interview shortlist for that position.
  • Clubs must appoint the successful candidate on the basis of merit alone.
  • Clubs must provide details of the recruitment process to the EFL, including the number of BME applicants and the number of BME candidates interviewed.
  • Clubs will be permitted to fill a position by promoting an internal candidate (from a position requiring a Uefa A or B coaching badge only) without applying the above process. However, the position vacated by that individual must be filled in accordance with the new regulations.

Voluntary first-team code

Ten of the 72 clubs have volunteered to pilot a similar scheme in their first-team recruitment process during 2016-17.

Those teams are: Birmingham City, Fulham, Huddersfield Town and Wolves, Chesterfield, Coventry City, Millwall, Peterborough United, Accrington Stanley and Carlisle United.

  • During the season, clubs will be expected to interview one or more BME candidate for any first-team managerial/coaching role (where an application has been received) in instances where they run a full recruitment process.
  • During the close season, clubs will be expected to run a full recruitment process for any first-team managerial/coaching role during which they must interview one or more BME candidates (where an application has been received).

Subscribe to the BBC Sport newsletter to get our pick of news, features and video sent to your inbox.

Top Stories