QPR's director of football Les Ferdinand calls for Rooney Rule

Chris Ramsey (left) and Les Ferdinand as the statue of Arthur Wharton is unveiled at St. George's Park, Burton-upon-Trent
Image: Chris Ramsey (left) and Les Ferdinand

QPR's director of football Les Ferdinand believes covert racism is rife in the game and preventing ethnic minorities from getting top jobs in management.

QPR's Chris Ramsey is the only black manager in the Premier League - and Ferdinand wants to see a Rooney Rule- style law introduced to give more BAME (Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic) coaches a chance.

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QPR director of football Les Ferdinand believes covert racism is rife in the game and wants to see a Rooney Rule-style law introduced.

The Rooney Rule requires NFL franchises in the United States to interview minority candidates for head coaching jobs. 

"The worst thing in the world - and I had this conversation with an ex-chairman of mine - is what I call covert racism, being racist without realising," Ferdinand said.

"That's sometimes why black managers don't get the opportunity to be interviewed.

It’s just a case of being able to sit down and put your credentials on the table. At the moment, we're not even getting that chance.
Les Ferdinand

"People often talk and say 'I'm not racist' and don't even realise that they are being racist because they won’t give you that opportunity.

"There's talk about the 'Rooney Rule' - the only way it works is if any job becomes available, you have to interview three or four candidates and one of them has to be from a BAME background.

"We're not saying you have to give anybody the job - we're just saying 'give us an interview' – that's all. Just to be able to sit down in front of you and put my case.

"You may have already decided who your next manager is going to be but if I sit down in front of you, I might impress you so much that you might recommend me to someone else.

"It's just a case of being able to sit down and put your credentials on the table. At the moment, we're not even getting that chance."

Ferdinand's view is echoed by anti-racist campaign Kick it Out who told Sky Sports News HQ: "The access to opportunities for employment in football continue to be out of reach for many. The recruitment procedures are flawed, and there is a lack of accountability and transparency in the processes.

"We need to see a level playing field established where individuals possessing the necessary qualifications and experience are able to apply and be taken into proper consideration for positions. 

"As it stands, many credible candidates who are suitable for jobs do not feel it is worthwhile applying as they see a closed culture which exists preventing them from having a fair chance.

"There is a lack of diversity in positions off the field and this is an issue which needs to be addressed. Football must work collectively to ensure measures are implemented to address this under-representation."

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