Newcastle United favourite Kieron Dyer slams Rooney Rule

The former Ipswich Town, West Ham United and Queens Park Rangers midfielder believes the Rooney Rule applied to the NFL wouldn't work in football.

Former Newcastle United midfielder Kieron Dyer believes that the NFL’s Rooney Rule should not be applied to English football, despite calls from some corners for more black and ethnic minority coaches to be appointed to top jobs within the game.

The comments come after research from the Sports People’s Think Tank showed that professional coaches from black and ethnic minority backgrounds occupied just 19 roles in the top 552 positions in the top four divisions.

Under the terms of the Rooney Rule, which has proven successful in the NFL, every club would be required to shortlist and interview a minimum of one black or ethnic minority coach.

But, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, former Ipswich Town and Newcastle United midfielder Kieron Dyer argued that the Rooney Rule would not work in England and furthermore rejected the concept entirely.

"I want to be interviewed because the chairman wants to interview me,” he said.

"I don’t want to be interviewed because it’s filling a quota. I don’t want to be on a shortlist because football clubs are told I have to be because I’m black.

"I don’t agree with the Rooney Rule either. That’s me personally, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t worked in America, but I don’t like the idea here."

“Nobody is saying you're going to get the job. All we're saying is have a look at these guys and see if they might change your perception of what you think they are,” he added.

It's for that exact reason that English football needs to embrace the NFL's Rooney Rule.

Named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, the rule simply states that for each major coaching position which opens up, at least one of the applicants interviewed must be from a BME background. It is no guarantee of a job, however it provides BME coaches with the opportunity to interview for jobs from which they may otherwise be overlooked for no other reasons than their race, ethnicity, or background.

For Johnson, who says he has had only 3 job interviews in the last five years despite his excellent qualifications, this chance to interview could give him the break he needs.

“All I want is that opportunity, just like any other man from any other walk of life,” he said.

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