By 90Min
January 12, 2018

Brighton manager Chris Hughton has called the FA's decision to introduce the 'Rooney Rule' for national team appointments "very promising" and believes that Premier League clubs should follow suit.

Introduced in American Football in 2003, the Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one ethnic minority candidate before appointing a new head coach. The rule was introduced after several coaches from minority backgrounds were fired in quick succession in 2002. 

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Hughton is the only black or minority ethnic (BAME) manager in the Premier League at present, and one of only five BAME managers in the top four divisions of English football, along with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Nuno Espirito Santo, Keith Curle, and Jack Lester.

"I feel that for the FA to make the decision they have made is something that's very promising and very worthwhile," said Hughton, as quoted by the Daily Mail ahead of Brighton's trip to West Brom.

"Premier League clubs are the next stage. All we want is for progress to be made and eventually to see more black and ethnic coaches at the higher levels."

A version of the Rooney Rule was introduced for EFL clubs' managerial appointments on January 1. Hughton is keen for the rule to be applied in the top flight as soon as possible, but does not believe it should only apply to coaching changes.

"We are working in a multi-cultural environment, so we want the right representation at the top levels of the game, too," he added.

"That includes management, decision makers and CEOs. That's what everybody would want."

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Brighton have led the way in the pursuit of equal opportunities in the Premier League. Hope Powell, who managed the England women's team between 1998 and 2013, was appointed as head coach of the Brighton women's team last July. And Paul Nevin has held the role of first-team coach at the Amex Stadium since 2016.

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