Sport Soccer

Thursday 18 September 2014

Taylor has faith in Rooney Rule

Published 17/04/2013 | 18:49

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PFA chief Gordon Taylor

Players union chief Gordon Taylor is convinced the PFA's equivalent of the 'Rooney Rule' will address the lack of black representation in the management ranks.

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In conjuction with the Football League, the PFA is pushing ahead with its radical new Coaching Fair Play plan. Taylor hopes it will help sidestep the natural conservatism he feels has prevented the large percentage of black players in the professional game transferring into anything like an acceptable number of managers.

There are presently five black managers from the 92 clubs and Taylor knows it is not enough. And thanks to Cyrus Mehri, who drove through the Rooney Rule in NFL, he feels a breakthrough has been achieved. "People are always more comfortable with other people who are the same as them; language, colour. It is almost defensive," said Taylor.

"Owners have been more than happy to have black players on the pitch, and black managers from abroad such as Ruud Gullit and Jean Tigana, but the overall figures are not in line with numbers on the pitch. It is not going to happen overnight but we need more representation in senior positions. We need role models for black managers the same as we had for players.

"It is a shock that racism is still a topic when we have made such progress but as we have seen with the crowd trouble over the weekend, we should never dream of slacking up on any of the issues we have made progress with, because the minute we do, it all comes out of the bottle again."

The final decision over whether the Coaching Fair Play Plan will be implemented rests with the 72 Football League chairman. Taylor is convinced this 'bottom up' approach is the correct way forward, just as it was with the new Financial Fair Play regulations.

Talks with Football League chairman Greg Clarke have been constructive, and all parties see the benefit in an increasingly desperate drive for success.

"The point has been made time and time again that clubs are paying fortunes in settlements for managers who have hardly had two minutes to succeed in the job," said Taylor.

"We are obsessed with instant success. It is like someone rushing into a supermarket to find a ready-made manager. You would think clubs would be pleased to see a panel of suitable applicants for a particular job, rather than it being done on a nod and a wink or some agent saying who is available.

"If we are to encourage players to stay in the game, become the next generation of managers and work with UEFA to have a consistent qualification. You need to be able to give people a belief that having qualified they will be given a fair chance to get employment."

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