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Michael Johnson says Rooney Rule would give BAME coaches a chance to show their worth

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Michael Johnson says an NFL-style Rooney Rule in football will help tackle under-representation of BAME managers in England

Michael Johnson says a Rooney Rule in football will allow black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) coaches to demonstrate their talent.

Despite BAME footballers constituting almost 30 per cent of players, there remains just a handful of non-white managers across the 92 league clubs.

Johnson applauded the Football League for the Rooney Rule scheme it piloted last season, which he said has resulted in an "uplift" in the number of BAME coaches recruited for academy coaching roles.

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But the under-representation of BAME coaches in first-team managerial positions remains an issue, and Johnson believes the implementation of an NFL-style Rooney Rule would provide an effective solution to the disparity.

"We're not saying anybody because you're black or because you're Asian should get a job," Johnson told Sky Sports News.

"No, absolutely not. What we are saying is that it would be great just to get an opportunity to be in the interview room and just be part of that interview process.

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"Just let somebody look at you and see what you're all about. At the minute, there are not enough black or Asian coaches getting through the door to be allowed to showcase their skills.

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"The Rooney Rule would be a remedy."

Released on Thursday, the findings from the fourth annual review of the Sports People's Think Tank - of which Johnson is a co-founder - concluded only 22 out of 482 senior coaching positions at professional clubs are held by coaches from BAME backgrounds.

Nine of those (41 per cent) are employed at just four clubs - Brighton, Crystal Palace, Reading, and Queens Park Rangers.

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Football's Rooney Rule pioneer Ricky Hill is disappointed with the lack of progress for BAME coaches

American law professor and Rooney Rule expert N. Jeremi Duru believes clubs that take a broad-eyed look at the talent pool will gain a material advantage.

He said: "If you take the NFL as an example, between 2007 and 2016, 10 of the 20 Super Bowl teams had head coaches or general managers of colour. Before 2007 there was none.

"There is a strong business case for broadening your view and looking at the whole market."

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