Football: Players' chief Gordon Taylor announced a six-point action plan to deal with racism in football today after criticism from some members.
The Professional Footballers Association (PFA) chief executive said that the union wants tougher penalties for racist abuse including making it potentially a sackable offence.
In addition, he has proposed to have culprits ordered to attend awareness programmes and a form of the “Rooney rule” — originally introduced in the NFL in 2003 — to boost the number of black coaches and managers.
Taylor also called for unity in the wake of some players considering forming a breakaway organisation for black players.
He said: “If they want their own particular select group who they feel they can influence everybody more than the whole PFA as a union together, I would say they are seriously mistaken.
“If we are not careful this will set us back years. It would not only set back the game, it would set back the anti-racist initiative.”
The move comes after Reading striker Jason Roberts, a member of the PFA’s management committee, expressed frustration that his recommendations had not been acted on.
Roberts said he had pleaded with the PFA to beef up their equality department.
He said: “The equality department in the PFA needs to change and should have stronger leadership.”