Marvin Sordell says BAME coaches need more interview opportunities

Marvin Sordell says the situations of individual players needs to be respected
Image: Marvin Sordell has joined the Football Association's inclusion advisory board

BAME coaches need more interview opportunities for jobs in football rather than than "the same people having the same opportunities time and time again", says former Watford striker Marvin Sordell.

Only five of the 91 managers at Premier League and English Football League level would be considered to be from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background, despite the percentage being far higher among players.

Sordell, who last week joined the Football Association's inclusion advisory board (IAB), says it is vital for BAME communities to see a viable pathway to a career on the touchline to avoid football management becoming a closed shop.

"You see a lot of the same managers getting appointed, it's a generation and a collection of these managers that are put into these jobs that come into circulation," he said.

"I want to use my voice for good, and to give widespread opportunities, not just to the same people that have the same opportunities time and time again."

Nuno Espirito Santo
Image: Nuno Espirito Santo is one of just five BAME coaches in England's top four leagues

The IAB sets out in its 'In Pursuit of Progress' mission statement that it "will mandate all partners to include suitably-qualified diverse candidates on shortlists".

The EFL adopted the Rooney Rule into its regulations for the 2019-20 season following an 18-month pilot scheme. Clubs are obliged to report to the league after a recruitment process about whether they followed the regulations.

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Championship side Luton were the most recent EFL club to part ways with a manager after Graeme Jones left by mutual consent last month.

The club have yet to start a recruitment process and when Jones left a spokesman said: "When we have more concrete knowledge about the recommencement of the 2019-20 season or the start of 2020-21, we will then reconsider our position with regards to the football management structure. Meanwhile, applications for any of the positions will not be considered or reviewed at this time."

Northampton Town boss Keith Curle says it is vital for the integrity of the game that the season is finished properly at some point.
Image: Northampton Town boss Keith Curle is among the EFL's BAME coaches

Sordell said: "One of the reasons people are pushing for the Rooney Rule is just to get an opportunity.

"No one is asking for handouts, no one would want to be given an opportunity they don't deserve, but sometimes the best person for the job doesn't necessarily have the opportunity to be in the room to represent themselves.

"That for me is why the Rooney Rule is important - it gives people the opportunity to at least get into the room to have the conversation."

The Premier League is not understood to be currently considering the introduction of the Rooney Rule in its competition. The league's focus is to work on measures which will increase the supply of well-qualified coaches from different backgrounds.

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