Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the introduction of the ‘Rooney rule’ to try to boost the number of black coaches and managers would be a “kind of racism” - insisting everyone must get jobs on merit alone.
The Professional Footballers’ Association wants tougher penalties for racist abuse including making it potentially a sackable offence and culprits ordered to attend awareness programmes as well as adopting ideas from the United States designed to promote equality.
The initiative proved a success in the America, where it was brought in by the NFL to make sure qualified black coaches are on interview lists for job vacancies. Currently, Norwich boss Chris Hughton is the only black manager in the English top flight.
Wenger, though, feels any such enforced ‘quota’ system would go against the whole concept of unilateral equality.
“I [have] always been against discrimination. Is it positive or negative? What they call it in France is ‘positive discrimination’,” Wenger said, “I feel that no matter what job you do in life, you should just do it because you deserve to do it and you have the quality to do it.
“You have to favour access for everybody to manage in football. Just to put a quota out, for me is exactly against what sport has to be - sport is about competition and competence. That will have exactly the opposite effect [to] what it should have. You can say as well then, ‘why do you leave him out?’ He’s better than the guy in his place. [It is] just because you have a quota’.
“It is again a kind of racism and what we have all to fight for is just competence, to put people who are good - are they white, black, red, no matter what colour - just put guys who have a competence in charge.”