Chesterfield are one of the teams piloting the new BAME policy for first team management or coaching jobs that come up this year.
At their AGM this week, EFL clubs approved proposals aimed at tackling the under-representation of coaches and managers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
The new measures, which will take immediate effect, include the introduction of mandatory new recruitment practices for coaching positions in Academy football and a Voluntary Recruitment Code in first team football, which will be piloted by at least 10 clubs during 2016/17, Chesterfield joined in League One by Coventry City, Millwall and Peterborough United.
The Spireites may have an immediate chance to put the policy into action with their goalkeeping coach role vacant at the moment.
Having given ‘in principle’ support to the introduction of positive action measures aimed at promoting diversity in coaching positions 12 months ago, clubs have now formally endorsed a set of proposals finalised during the 2015/16 season by a working party of clubs, led by their departing chairman, Greg Clarke.
Clarke said: “It is absolutely essential that EFL clubs continue to reflect the communities in which they are based. This includes ensuring that recruitment practices are open and transparent with appointments being made on the basis of merit alone.
“It is clear to us that we currently have an under-representation of BAME managers and coaches at club level and it is therefore the right time to take proportionate action to ensure the best talent, from all backgrounds, is given a fair opportunity to enter and progress through the system.
“I believe this is an important moment for sport in this country and I’m very proud that it is our clubs that are leading the way. They have done the right thing and deserve considerable credit.
“I would like to offer my thanks to all those who have contributed to our work including the NFL, whose Rooney Rule provided the inspiration, as well as EFL clubs, the FA, the Premier League, LMA, PFA, the Sports Peoples’ Think Tank and Kick It Out, whose chairman, Lord Ouseley, provided sound advice throughout.”
The chair of Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, Lord Herman Ouseley, said: “We commend Football League clubs for backing proposals put forward by Greg Clarke to install open and transparent recruitment practices aimed at increasing the level of black, Asian and minority ethnic representation in management and coaching positions.
“We recognise the lengthy and painstaking process led by Clarke to achieve this breakthrough commitment.
“He should be credited for the consultation he has undertaken with the main footballing bodies and anti-discrimination organisations and campaigners, and for showing leadership in this area after criticism of the Football League last year for its lack of activity on this front.”
Mandatory Requirements at Academy level
Under EFL regulations:
• Clubs will be required to advertise any position within the club’s Academy that requires the individual to hold a UEFA A or UEFA B coaching badge on the club’s website and the EFL website for a minimum of 7 days.
• Clubs must include at least one suitably qualified BAME candidate (where an application has been received) on the interview shortlist for that position.
• Clubs must appoint the successful candidate on the basis of merit alone.
• Clubs must provide details of the recruitment process to the EFL, including the number of BAME applicants and the number of BAME candidates interviewed.
• Clubs will be permitted to fill a position by promoting an internal candidate (from a position requiring a UEFA A or B coaching badge only) without applying the above process. However, the position vacated by that individual must be filled in accordance with the new regulations.
Voluntary Recruitment Code in First Team Football
• During the season, clubs will be expected to interview one or more BAME candidate for any First Team managerial/coaching role (where an application has been received) in instances where they run a full recruitment process.
• During the close season, clubs will be expected to run a full recruitment process for any First Team managerial/coaching role during which they must interview one or more BAME candidates (where an application has been received).