Is the Rooney Rule Right For the Premier League?
The Rooney Rule argument has found a place in the English media lately.
Of the 92 Premier and Football League clubs, only two have black managers - Keith Curle at Carlisle United and Chris Powell of Huddersfield Town. There are no other minorities taking the top job at the higher level English football clubs.
The first thing that comes to mind is equality, why are there so few minority managers? Also, how does this affect the Equality Act (2010)? To my knowledge, only jobs that are relevant to an ethnicity are protected, such as race-specific roles in Movies/TV and ethnic restaurants. If Carlton Palmer is interviewed for the Manchester United job over a highly qualified white manager, is that really any better? It does not give him the job, merely a token interview to fill a quota, while another Guardiola/Mourinho-level coach is appointed.
Similarly, Sol Campbell has claimed that the FA should fire Gary Neville as Roy Hodgson's assistant in the England team and award him the job. Neville is widely recognized as an excellent prospect, where Campbell is infamous for his opinions and petulant acts.
That's not to say the FA shouldn't do more than their Asians in football drive, but if they're going to attempt to raise the next great English coach within their own system, it should probably be someone they deem to have the necessary credentials.
I would love to see black and Asian managers in the Barclays Premier League and SkyBet Football League. That surely starts with subsidized coaching badges and targeted courses, not with experience in unrealistic interviews. The likes of Chris Hughton, Ruud Gullit and Paul Ince didn't get to the Premier League by being part of a racial quota, but rather by being the best qualified man for a job.
David James spoke to a Dubai newspaper last year and stated that it wasn't racism as much as a lack of quality. Chris Powell served as a coach under the likes of Sven Göran-Eriksson at Leicester before starting his own journey. Hughton served as a Tottenham coach for 14 years before taking charge at Newcastle. James returned to the club he supports, Luton Town, to complete his own coaching badges before starting his managerial career with the Kerala Blasters in the forthcoming Indian Super League. He will lock horns with the likes of Peter Reid, Zico and Marco Materazzi, which is not a bad way to gain experience either.
A black manager winning the Premier League won't be an overnight process, but it is not beyond the realms of reality over the coming years.