Ricky Hill questions credibility of BAME coach initiative announced by EFL
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 08/12/17 4:32pm
Football's Rooney Rule pioneer Ricky Hill has told Sky Sports News questions remained unanswered over the EFL's extension of the recruitment code for BAME coaches piloted by 10 EFL clubs last season.
Following an extraordinary general meeting on Thursday, the EFL announced the extension of the voluntary scheme, which came into effect last year.
The rule was applied twice last season by the clubs piloting the scheme but it was ignored on five occasions when managerial positions became available.
All 72 English Football League clubs have agreed to the six-month trial - starting January 1 - which will see at least one Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidate interviewed for vacant managerial or first-team coaching positions if an application is received.
But former England midfielder Hill says the latest initiative can only be taken seriously if there is a mandatory requirement for clubs to interview BAME coaches for first-team positions as they must do for academy positions.
"It remains to be seen what [the EFL] have actually done and whether there is any substance to it as questions remain unanswered," Hill told Sky Sports News.
"Will the initiative be policed? And what will the sanctions be for those failing to adhere to the policy? Is this just a smokescreen or an illusion?
"Until the clubs treat the ruling with the respect that it deserves and follow the lead [set by the EFL in 2016] by applying the mandatory title to the senior levels - as they have done with the academy code of practice - then in my estimation it is not serious."
Lord Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, told Sky Sports News clubs should face "serious consequences" for non-compliance.
"Whilst we are pleased that the EFL's Voluntary Recruitment Code is being expanded to all 72 clubs, it is clear that last season's pilot did not yield the results that were expected.
"For that reason, we believe that the threat of sanctions are now required for the code to succeed - a fact we noted in our recently-published report, 'Football in pursuit of equality, inclusion and cohesion', which sets out a range of actions that the football authorities must take to make the game a truly inclusive environment.
"Ideally we would prefer to see EFL clubs comply with the framework voluntarily, but the results so far clearly indicate that there must be a mechanism in place to ensure clubs face serious consequences if they fail to address employment practices that are excluding black and minority ethnic coaches from senior positions."
Speaking on Thursday after the extension of the code, EFL chief executive Harvey said: "We acknowledge that some would like to see us go further and move faster.
"But the priority, at this time, has to be to understand whether a voluntary recruitment code of this type is capable of delivering the positive results that everyone in the game is seeking.
"Having operated such measures in both academy and first-team football over a whole season, we believe that this approach has the potential to deliver the right outcomes if operated by all clubs over a period of time.
"Once we have the necessary insight and evidence to assess the effectiveness of these arrangements, we will then be in a position to consider our next step on the journey of addressing this issue."
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