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Mourinho disputes necessity of Rooney Rule in football

Julian Finney

I'm not sure why Jose Mourinho ended up fielding a question about the Rooney Rule in his press conference today, but his response was not exactly what I was hoping for:

Football is not so stupid to close doors to people. If you are good, you get the job. If you are top, you are top.

-Source: BBC.

I'm going to have to disagree pretty strongly with the manager here. There's lots of evidence that football is indeed so stupid to close doors to people, and the lack of black managers in the top flight is proof enough of that. Institutional racism is a problem in the sport whether Mourinho sees it or not, and while I have no doubts that Mourinho has not experienced it in the Premier League (he does work under a black technical director, after all), generalising like this is unhelpful.

There aren't as many black managers in the Premier League -- or football in general -- as we would expect given their overall involvement in the game. That's a problem worth taking seriously and taking steps to address*, and if Mourinho thinks that the best way to respond to a question about it is a glib dismissal, that's unfortunate.

*I don't think that the Rooney Rule is necessarily the best way of going about fixing it, mind.

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