So how many BAME candidates have been interviewed?

Published: Tuesday, 20 August 2019

It was in June this year that the EFL grandly announced that they’d be adopting the Rooney Rule - you know the one - the regulation in the NFL, where teams are required to interview ethnic minority candidates for head coaching jobs.

The EFL’s is a variation of it. At their annual meeting they all agreed a voluntary 18-month trial in a bid to help more BAME candidates break into first team posts.

Since then - Darren Moore has found work at Doncaster. But there were 18 other appointments in the EFL last summer - and the only other BAME coach to be appointed was Sabri Lamouchi at Forest. Is that enough? Is two BAME coaches progress?

It’s commendable that the EFL took the decision that it did. The lack of BAME coaches in our game was something that Andy and I were constantly talking about when we were on the radio. I have to say - not too many people were interested in the subject back then.

But what I’d really like to know is this - so there were 19 appointments in total before the season kicked off - how many BAME candidates were interviewed for those jobs? I don’t want to know who - I’d just like to know the number.

You see it’s one thing talking a good game - but it’s quite another taking action. I honestly don’t know - but I’ll bet the majority of those clubs appointing a new manager didn’t even bother to interview a BAME candidate.

In the PL did Newcastle before appointing Steve Bruce? Did United before appointing Solskjaer? Chelsea? Brighton? Let’s go further back - did Villa? Southampton? Everton? I’ll guarantee you - no, they didn’t.

So how are we ever to overcome this problem? A problem that manifests itself now all the way through our game - a problem that society still hasn’t dealt with as we’ve seen time and again already this season.

So Paul Pogba had a penalty saved (and it was that - saying he ‘missed’ gives the keeper no credit at all). So did Tammy Abraham. So what? Neither intended to. Neither wanted to. They just did. It’s football. It happens. Does it mean that hundreds of mindless scum bags on Twitter and the various other social media outlets should abuse them in the way they have? Of course not.

The people that do are not right in the head. They’re cowards - sick people - hiding behind anonymous accounts. I know. They abuse me on other subjects - personal matters that they know absolutely nothing about, only nonsense that they’ve been fed - often by the same sloppy journalists and newspapers that want to operate on both sides of the line.

I liked Harry Maguire’s tweet, suggesting that the likes of Twitter could do more to ensure only genuine accounts can be registered. It’s a great idea to have people give up passport details or a drivers licence before they can open an account. Why not? ‘Ah, that’s an invasion of privacy’ I can hear some of you say. Really? If so - it’s a price worth paying.

But banning these idiots isn’t the only solution - we’re simply forcing the problem underground if we do that. No - we’ve got to educate. We’ve got to make an effort to change the way people think. Only action from the very top is going to do that. So let’s not simply talk the good talk. Let’s talk and then walk. Let’s do something positive. So - EFL - how many BAME candidates were interviewed for managerial vacancies last summer. Can the PL answer that question too? Please?

As for the football - I think the game at Chelsea all but summed up my early season predictions for both. Chelsea are short - short of ‘men’ and ‘leaders’. Leicester, I believe, will surprise a few - and in James Maddison they’ve got quite a player. He’s a Cov Kid so I’ve watched his progress closely. Gareth - get him into your mid-field now and build around him. He’s Glenn Hoddle in disguise.

I loved the way he jumped in to protect Wilfred Ndidi in that excruciating post match tv interview. Poor Ndidi - ‘well, you dropped a real bollock today - just one last thing - head up - and can you give this to James? He was Man of the Match’. Wow.

It’s good to see Arsenal have started well. Again - I did say - there wasn’t a lot wrong there.

It hasn’t been the start Steve Bruce wanted - but what makes two defeats a crisis? It was November 3 last season before Newcastle won a league game. In 2014 and 2015 it took them until October 18. Crisis? What crisis? I’ll bet Bruce has three points on the board some time before November 3.

Thoughts are with everybody at Bury this week. Please god may their problems be solved. This might be naive - but is there any reason why the Manchester giants couldn’t donate a few quid to get them out of trouble? Look at the money United wasted on Alexis Sanchez - £8m a goal. Something like that would help.

My fear is if Bury go - it’ll start a mini trend and others will follow. We can’t afford to let that happen.

With domestic tv rights worth less in the last round of of negotiations EFL clubs have had their share of the money cut again. Come on guys - this isn’t fair. We need leadership from the big boys on all kinds of things - and we haven’t got it right now.