EFL clubs approve BAME managers and coaches proposals

And Blues will be at the forefront of the scheme: the Club is one of just four Sky Bet Championship sides piloting the Voluntary Recruitment Code during 2016/17.

The announcement comes just three days after Blues revealed the intention to work towards the Premier League Equality Standard Advanced Award.

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 across the EFL during the coming season. 

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.

In welcoming the support of clubs for the proposals, Greg 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."

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).