Football League to bring in NFL-style Rooney rule

League Two will see the introduction of a version of the NFL’s so-called Rooney rule, intended to increase the number of ethnic minority coaches in English football, the Daily Mirror has reported.

The plan is known as Coaching Fair Play and is expected to be voted in by the league’s 24 chairmen. The PFA and Football League have orchestrated the idea between them, which will see a list of ethnic minority coaches created, and when chairmen are searching for a new manager at their clubs, they will have to interview one of the candidates from the pre-existing list.

According to the Mirror, among the names to be included on the list are former Everton defender, Earl Barrett, Ugo Ehiogu, once of Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, Coventry City legend Richard Shaw, and ex-Chelsea midfielder Eddie Newton, who previously worked as assistant manager to Roberto Di Matteo at West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea.

The intention is to give ethnic minority coaches a start in football that would one day see more minorities working in the Premier League – a “bottom-up” approach designed to give coaches opportunities in the Football League, with the hope that the scheme is adopted by the Premier League.

There are currently five black managers in the Football League – Edgar Davids at Barnet, Chris Kiowamya at Notts County, Paul Ince and Chris Powell at Blackpool and Charlton Athletic respectively and Norwich City’s Chris Hughton.

The Rooney rule got its name from Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and chairman of the NFL’s diversity committee, who instituted a similar idea that was adopted in American football.

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