Sunderland AFC and the Rooney Rule: Explaining the EFL rule change that will affect Stewart Donald's managerial decision

Sunderland will have to interview at least one BAME candidate as they seek a new manager - owing to a new EFL rule.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 1:15 pm
Stewart Donald must consider this EFL rule change when appointing Sunderland's new manager

Stewart Donald is in the midst of the hunt to replace Jack Ross, who departed the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.

And as per a new rule for the 2019/20 season, he will have to interview at least one black, Asian or ethnic minority candidate during the process – providing that one BAME candidate has applied for the role.

The so-called ‘Rooney Rule’ mirrors a similar rule in the NFL, and has been employed by EFL clubs since the start of this season.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Prior to this campaign, clubs had entered an 18-month trial basis where they were encouraged to interview at least one BAME candidate on a voluntary basis when hiring for first-team positions.

And at the League AGM in Portugal in June, clubs voted to introduce the rule on a permanent basis.

An EFL statement read: "The EFL has today made a further commitment to improving equality in first-team football by introducing a recruitment code into regulation in order to help address the under-representation of BAME managers."

And that means Sunderland will now be compelled to interview at least one BAME manager during their recruitment process.

There is currently just one BAME manager in League One - Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Moore.

Wycombe’s Gareth Ainsworth remains the favourite for the Black Cats’ hotseat, while Daniel Stendel and Paul Cook also feature high in the bookmakers’ odds.