Greg Dyke said the FA cannot force clubs to adopt rules or appoint candidates but he believes the situation will change. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images
The Football Association chairman, Greg Dyke, expects to see some form of the Rooney Rule introduced in English football to help boost the number of black and ethnic minority managers and coaches. The rule, which was established in the United States in 2003 and requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions, has been widely hailed as a successful model.
There have been many calls for it to be introduced in England to try to address the persistent lack of black and ethnic minority managers in the Football League. Currently only three of the 92 league clubs in England have black managers, while the numbers are similarly stark among top-level coaches.
Speaking at a lecture addressing the issue of discrimination in football and the media at the University of Manchester, Dyke said: “The FA inclusion advisory board is looking at it and it might be a good way forward. But the last thing we want is for it to end up as tokenism.
“Everybody’s got to agree. I think there will probably be the equivalent of the Rooney rule, then we’ve got to say, ‘Are we seeing change?’ The people running football all recognise there’s a problem and that was probably not where they were two years ago.”
Dyke stressed the FA cannot force clubs to adopt rules or appoint candidates but believes a combination of “talent and pressure” will see the situation change.
Earlier this month it was announced the Premier League will fund an initiative that every year will see six of 23 coach apprentice places reserved for coaches from minority backgrounds. One proposal from Dyke’s Chairman’s Commission was radical reform of coach education and he believes increasing the numbers going through programmes will have an effect at the top.
Dyke hopes in five years’ time between 50 and 100 of the top-level coaches in England will be black or ethnic minority. He said: “We know there’s a need, we know there’s a supply, we just have to make sure we act to facilitate that supply.
“I think we will succeed. The issue is now in the public arena. Over time it will change, probably not at the speed some people want it to. Football has been through the first stage of dealing with this problem by getting rid of overt racism. Now we’re in the institutional phase where we know there’s a problem and we have got to find the solutions.”
Dyke’s mantra is action rather than talk, with the former director general of the BBC saying: “It’s easy to come up with supportive words that change nothing. Earlier this week I received a text from a senior figure in football urging me to bring leaders in football together and talk about this issue.
“I said I would only do it if we also commission someone to research the area and draw up a plan for change. The last thing we want is a bunch of people talking and nothing happens.”
Also related: Scum of the earth Dave Whelan has been charged by the FA over comments about Jews and Chinese people.