Football pitch
English football has been urged to follow the NFL's example Getty

The Rooney Rule should be introduced to help tackle prejudice in English football, according to Yannce Reid, a director of Fitness Essence and an FA-registered intermediary. Black and Asian coaches are strikingly under-represented at the top of English football - and Reid believes the governing bodies should take inspiration from the NFL.

Under the Rooney Rule, gridiron teams are required to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior operation jobs. No quota or preference is afforded to minorities in the hiring of candidates because of the Rooney Rule, but Reid would welcome its introduction in the English game.

Asked if racism was responsible for the dearth of black and Asian coaches at professional clubs, he told IBTimes UK: "I wouldn't say there is a massive racism problem in modern-day English football and I certainly haven't encountered it. However, I believe there is a prejudice against people from certain ethnic backgrounds becoming coaches, which is reflected in the statistics over the years.

"The Rooney Rule would be a good start to bring change into the industry and to encourage new conversations. We have seen how successful it was in being implemented into the NFL and could prove equally successful here in England."

The much-discussed rule is named after Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the chairman of the NFL's diversity committee. It has been credited with creating a marked increase in the overall percentage of African-American coaches in the league.

However, Reid acknowledged that a lack of black and Asian role models in high-profile coaching positions in England is another significant problem. "There is a large quantity of black and Asian people not pushing to go through the process of obtaining their coaching badges in England currently," he reflected.

"This is purely down to the fact that there is no current elite level coaches for them to aspire to and the niggling worry that they will won't even reach an interview stage at all. We have good managers such as Chris Houghton and Chris Powell but after that the pool becomes very shallow."

Fitness Essence is a sports management company that represents athletes across the globe.