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Black British managers need extra help - Gordon Taylor

Paul Ince
Paul Ince is one of only two black managers in England's top leagues

Black British managerial hopefuls should be interviewed for vacant posts as of right to tackle discrimination in football, according to Gordon Taylor.

The Professional Footballers' Association chief said he would back the introduction of a new regulation modelled on the NFL's 'Rooney Rule'.

Under this rule, teams must interview minority candidates for senior posts.

Paul Ince of Notts County and Chris Powell of Charlton are the only black bosses currently at league clubs.

Taylor told BBC 5 Live: "I find it astonishing that we can import the likes of Jean Tigana and Ruud Gullit and there's no problem, but our own lads who have grown up in this country have not been given a chance to be fairly represented."

Taylor said the 'Rooney Rule' had "without a shadow of a doubt made a difference" since it was introduced in the NFL in 2003.

"We have got to learn from other sports and other countries, and we saw how many top quality Black gridiron players there were and how few Black coaches," he said.

"But they came in with that rule and it's made a difference, and now it's become assimilated into the culture of the NFL."

Among its 32 teams, the NFL has seven African-American head coaches and one of Mexican/Puerto Rican descent, Ron Rivera.

But by the time the Rooney Rule was introduced, only seven minority coaches had ever held head coaching jobs.

Taylor said he would only support the introduction of a similar rule in English football if he "felt encouraged by all my black players or black players who are qualified coaches and feel they have not been given proper opportunities".

"If we get more players like Chris Powell who are prepared to go for it and not expect a top job, that's what we need to try and encourage," he added.

Powell, the former England left-back, was named as manager of Charlton in January, after a spell as coach and, for one game, caretaker manager at Leicester.

Ince, the former Manchester United and England midfielder, has had mixed fortunes during a longer managerial career.

He learnt his trade at Macclesfield before leading Milton Keynes Dons to a Football League Trophy final victory in March 2008 and to the League Two title a month later.

THE 'ROONEY RULE'
NFL
Named after Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney
Teams must interview at least one minority candidate for top positions
In 2003, the Detroit Lions were fined $200,000 for breaking the rule

Ince then became the first black British manager in England's top division when he joined Blackburn Rovers in June 2008 - though he did not hold a UEFA pro licence.

However, he was was sacked after six months in charge and three wins in 17 games, and returned to MK Dons in July 2009. He subsequently resigned in April 2010 and joined Notts County six months later.

Taylor said Ince should have been fully qualified when he took the Blackburn post, but added: "I spoke to Richard Scudamore [the chief executive of the FA Premier League] and said 'we've got to give him a chance, we have promised that we'll fast-track him and get him qualified'.

"I said 'we don't want to make a scene about it but we would do if we needed to'.

"But he said, 'Gordon, I agree, we will do all we can'."

Ince said it was "really hard to comprehend" that would-be managers could lose out on jobs because of their colour.

But it would also be hard for him, as an experienced manager, to raise this as an issue if he was unsuccessful.

"Are people going to listen to that or just think that's sour grapes because he didn't get the job," he said.



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see also
Powell named new Charlton manager
14 Jan 11 |  Charlton
Notts County confirm Ince as boss
28 Oct 10 |  Notts County
Ince resigns as MK Dons manager
16 Apr 10 |  Milton Keynes
Ince reappointed as MK Dons boss
03 Jul 09 |  Milton Keynes
Lowly Blackburn sack manager Ince
16 Dec 08 |  Blackburn
Blackburn appoint Ince as manager
22 Jun 08 |  Blackburn


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