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Rooney Rule: Heskey kicks out at Dyer and Bramble

VIEWS: Heskey (PA)

FORMER LIVERPOOL forward Emile Heskey has spoken out against ex-players Kieron Dyer and Titus Bramble who slammed the idea of English football introducing a version of American football’s “Rooney Rule”.

Nothing to do with Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, the NFL’s rule requires clubs to interview at least one black or ethnic minority (BME) candidate when hiring a new head coach or general manager. It is a regulation wanted by many in English football due to the shocking lack of black coaches and managers, with a recent report finding only 19 out of 552 of the top coaching positions were filled by BME staff.

Ex-Newcastle midfielder Dyer and former Sunderland defender Bramble are now at Ipswich gaining their coaching qualifications and they have both dismissed the notion of the game having a regulation akin to the Rooney Rule.

Reacting to Bramble’s remarks that the Rooney Rule would be a “disgrace” in England, Heskey said: “Kieran Dyer and Titus Bramble were saying we don't need to have it.


TEAM-MATES: Bramble, left, and Dyer during training at Newcastle in 2005 (PA)

“It's all right for them because they're at Ipswich, they started their careers at Ipswich and they have a rapport with Ipswich. But you've got others who probably don't have the same rapport.”

The ex-England frontman added: “There's some people who need just to be let in the door to give their views.

“We're not saying you have to hire someone, we're just saying you have to allow them to have an interview.

“I know someone who has applied for interviews, between 30 and 50, and had two. And this lad's got every single [coaching] badge you need.”

The 36-year-old forward, who has not yet retired but is without a club, claimed he has no plans to go into management.

Last week, English football got its third black manager after League Two side Burton Albion hired Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Carlisle United’s Keith Curle and Huddersfield Town’s Chris Powell are the only other black bosses in the professional game.

Despite the lack of BME coaches, Bramble and Dyer did not want rules related to skin colour. Bramble told the Telegraph: “I think it's disgraceful that someone might be shortlisted for the job just because of their skin colour.”

Dyer added: “I don't want to be interviewed because it's filling a quota.”

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