The lack of black managers in football has been a persistent talking point over the past few years. Despite the healthy percentage of ethnic minorities plying their trade in the Premier League, the same representation has never been recreated in the dugout. Of the 92 managerial positions in the Football League, only three are currently occupied by black managers: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Queens Park Rangers, Keith Curle at Carlisle and Chris Hughton at Brighton and Hove Albion.
Earlier this week, former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker Dwight Yorke revealed that he has yet to receive an interview for a management job. While Yorke acknowledged that his lack of experience was a barrier to his appointment, he also cited his ethnicity as a factor in the lack of job offers.
With the NFL making its return to the UK this Sunday, questions surrounding the league’s approach to diversity will inevitably spring up. In 2003, the NFL introduced ‘The Rooney Rule’, (named after legendary Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, a proponent of inclusion famed for giving African Americans prominent roles in his organisation) a stipulation that requires teams to interview at least one non-white candidate for a head coaching or senior operations role.
Since the rule was introduced, Tony Dungy has become the first black coach to win a Super Bowl, lifting the Lombardi Trophy when his Indianapolis Colts bested the Chicago Bears in 2007 (the coach of the Bears, Lovie Smith, is also black). When the Detroit Lions failed to meet this criteria in 2003, they were fined $200,000.