Racism in football and the NFL’s Rooney Rule have come up in the media again this week.
Is it because there is nothing major to talk about in the news this week? Is it because the NFL was at Wembley Stadium last weekend? Or is it because Gordon Taylor wanted some air time?
Probably the latter. The PFA chairman made a bold claim on Thursday when he said “there is a hidden racism which holds clubs back” in regards to appointing black managers.
Gordon Taylor then contradicted himself when he said managers should be employed on “merit”. In the majority of cases, they appear to be hired just that way.
Or is Mr Taylor suggesting that Chelsea should have looked to John Barnes instead of José Mourinho? Or perhaps Manchester United were racist not to hire Paul Ince instead of Louis van Gaal? And how dare second-place Southampton employ Ronald Koeman over Ruud Gullit.
The PFA chairman wants English football to adopt the Rooney Rule used in the NFL which guarantees ethnic minorities are interviewed for vacancies. Or on simple terms, Chelsea would have been fined for hiring José Mourinho without interviewing a black manager after Rafael Benítez was shown the door.
In his press conference yesterday ahead of Sunday’s clash with Arsenal, Chelsea manager José Mourinho gave a perfect response when questioned why there are currently no black managers in the Premier League:
“Football is not so stupid to close doors to people. If you are good, you get the job. If you are top, you are top.”
If only the media would accept that José Mourinho is right once again and move on. But they won’t, because his statement is not controversial and won’t sell newspapers the way claims of racism do.
Personally, I don’t care what colour skin manager’s are at any club. Or players for that matter. Or in any profession in life. Many of my favourite Derby County players over the years have been black – Paulo Wanchope, Chris Powell, Darren Moore would all make my top 10 list. I have a number of black and Asian friends too. But for some, the colour of one’s skin is an issue. And perhaps the country of England outside of football has racism issues because we make a big deal out of nothing – which is exactly what Gordon Taylor has done, and is exactly what I am doing by reacting to it.
The day a good manager of an ethnic minority applies for a Premier League job then perhaps this issue will die down. But if this issue has arisen because Paul Ince, John Barnes and Ruud Gullit are applying for jobs then we can laugh it off because their football managing CVs are a joke.
PS – Don’t expect Paul Ince to get another Premier League job anytime soon after taking Blackburn Rovers from mid-table to the bottom of the league back in 2008-09 😉