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FA to adopt 'Rooney Rule' for future roles in the England set-up

The Football Association will adopt its own version of the 'Rooney Rule' and pledged to interview at least one candidate from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background for future roles within the England set-up.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn confirmed the rule will "absolutely" be implemented whenever the FA come to choose Gareth Southgate's successor as manager of the men's senior team.

Football's equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out welcomed the proposals - and intend to make sure they are followed through in the years ahead - with chair Lord Ouseley hailing "a watershed moment."

A statement from Kick It Out read: "The organisation will be looking to work closely with English football's governing body to ensure the successful implementation and monitoring of its aims with regards to achieving equality, inclusion and cohesion."

The Rooney Rule, named after NFL diversity committee chairman Dan Rooney, requires American football franchises to interview at least one BAME candidate for each head coach or senior football operation vacancy.

In November, Sports People's Think Tank said 22 of 482 coaching roles in the top four divisions were held by BAME coaches.

Chair Herman Ouseley added: "I now expect those in positions of power across professional football, along with The FA, to drive forward the highest standards of activity in order to achieve these objectives which will benefit everyone who participates in the game."

Football League clubs had introduced their own version of the rule on January 1 and Glenn believes it is the duty of the FA to set an example.

Asked if the rule would be used to determine the next England manager, Glenn replied: "Absolutely. We are there to set an example.

"I think the Rooney Rule on its own isn't enough. All the other programmes about building the pipeline of talented young BAME coaches is also important at the same time.

"We are also quite a big employer as well if you think about the number of 28 England teams now, if you include men's, women's and disability.

"I think in talking to people at the Premier League and the FA, I don't see any resistance to it and to be fair the EFL has a Rooney rule in place."

There are five BAME managers working in England's top four divisions. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Northampton, Carlisle's Keith Curle, Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves and Chesterfield boss Jack Lester. Brighton manager Chris Hughton is the only non-white head coach in the Premier League.

The FA's new plan laid out their response to the issues thrown up by the Eni Aluko affair, which eventually led to the sacking of England Women's team manager Mark Sampson.

In consultation with UK Sport, a new whistle-blowing policy for players will now be established following the controversy.

The FA also announced £9m more a year for grassroots facilities as well as several initiatives to boost diversity throughout the game.

The prize fund for the FA Cup will be doubled from next season, while the debt on rebuilding Wembley will be paid off by 2024, several years early, saving £2-3m a year in interest payments.

- ​PA