Former Norwich manager Chris Hughton admits more needs to be done to increase the proportion of black managers in English football on 20th anniversary of Kick It Out

Hughton was the only black manager in the Premier League this season until Norwich sacked him with five games to go

English football might soon have to consider following something similar to the example of America's 'Rooney Rule' to help fill the "massive void" and increase the proportion of black coaches, according to former Norwich manager Chris Hughton.

In 2003, the National Football League brought in such legislation which requires teams to interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation vacancies, as part of a transparent and open recruitment process, with several successful applicants helping take their team on to the Super Bowl over the past decade.

Last season, Hughton was the only black manager in the Barclays Premier League, but was sacked by Norwich with just five matches left before the Norfolk club were eventually relegated.

Chris Powell also lost his job at Charlton, as did Paul Ince at Blackpool, Chris Kiwomya with Notts County and Edgar Davids, from Barnet.

According to the Professional Footballers' Association, only some 18% of players on their coaching courses are black or from other ethnic minorities.

Hughton, 55, feels it is a disappointing statistic which must be improved.

"We went through a period where there were five black managers. I think it drives home that we all have a responsibility in the game," said Hughton, who was at Wembley on Tuesday for the Kick It Out 20th anniversary dinner.

"Not just the players, not just the clubs, but the authorities and the Football Association. We all have a responsibility in the game to change that.

"I think is a willingness to change that and an acceptance that with the proportion of black players playing the game, the percentages (of coaches) are nowhere what they should be at the higher levels of the game.

"We have seen a lot more black and minority ethnic coaches at grass-roots level, academy level, development level, but of course at senior level there is a massive void. That is something that has to be addressed and there has to be a pathway for them."

Hughton continued: "If there is that feeling throughout the game that there should be more black and minority ethnic coaches in the game at a higher level, then it is our responsibility to make sure it happens.

"Whether there becomes some type of legislation that does not go as far as the Rooney Rule, then maybe that is something worth considering.

"It has got to be a uniformed group of people that are able to make decisions and to make the pathways a little bit clearer.

"Maybe a lot (of aspiring coaches) are getting disillusioned because they don't see the pathway, then we have to make sure we are having more black and minority coaches taking their badges, getting on to their A license, getting on to their Pro license, which is the top badge because the game these days is very much about qualifications as well.

"Anyone going for any interview for a job has to have top qualifications and the Pro license is the top one we have.

"I feel there has to be a concerted effort that we encourage in whichever way more black and minority ethnic coaches to take their badges at the higher levels.

"As an organisation, as a football family, there is a choice that you either do something about it or you don't.

"It has to be a question, because it always appears to me there is a real enthusiasm for people to want it to happen, but now they have to make it happen."

Hughton - who also had spells in charge at Newcastle and Birmingham before just under two seasons at Norwich - has been linked with the vacancy at West Brom.

"I haven't (had any offers). I think it is normal when I am out of work that my name's linked with positions, but there are also some very good other managers who are out of work at this time," he said.

"I am just waiting, recharging the batteries and I will keep myself fresh, but I am very much looking forward to that opportunity when it arrives."

PA

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