The EFL’s Rooney Rule trial got mixed results as several of the participating teams didn’t interview a BAME candidate when there was a vacancy according to a report from the Press Association Sport via The Independent.
Due to a lack of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) managers in the Football League, the EFL decided to trial the Rooney Rule with clubs volunteering to be part of the scheme. The Rooney Rule comes from the NFL and means that when a vacancy arises, the club must interview someone with suitable qualifications from a BAME background, with the idea that this will increase the amount of minority managers in the EFL. In the NFL, the amount of African-American coaches has jumped up from 6% to 22%.
Ten clubs joined the scheme but only Birmingham City, Chesterfield, Coventry City and Wolves ended up having to abide by these rules as they were the teams of the ten to change managers, with some of them doing it multiple times. However several teams didn’t apply it when the time came to change managers.
Only twice did a team fully abide by the rules and interview a black candidate. This was when Wolves appointed Paul Lambert and Russell Slade became the new manager of Coventry City. However when these teams appointed managers at different times of the season, they didn’t follow the rules. Wolves claimed that when they appointed Walter Zenga, there was exceptional circumstances due to the takeover by Fosun International though they have not given any reasoning for not considering a BAME candidate when they brought in Nuno Espirito Santo. Coventry said that when they got rid of Slade, they had Robins picked from the start and so there was no chance to interview a BAME candidate.
Elsewhere, Chesterfield never got the chance to interview a BAME candidate as one never applied when Danny Wilson left the club while Birmingham claimed they abided by the agreement as the scheme meant they could appoint specific individuals, like they did when they brought in Gianfranco Zola and Harry Redknapp at different points in the season.
Despite these mixed results though, the EFL are set to extend the Rooney Rule trial for all 72 teams in the EFL as they look to increase the amount of minority managers and coaches in the Football League.