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WiF comment on the appointment of Phil Neville as England manager

25 January 2018

WiF comment on the appointment of Phil Neville as England manager

Phil Neville - appointed as England women's national team manager © Getty Images

Women in Football are concerned by The FA's appointment process in selecting the new England manager.

Speaking to BBC 5Live, WiF chair Anna Kessel said: "When you look at the wording of the job advert they were looking for an “outstanding candidate”, they said, with a proven track record of success.

"Many more people potentially would have applied for the job had they known that was not required. That may have increased the number of BAME applicants and women. And the job was not re-advertised when that shortlist then fell through.

"I think there’s been a huge lack of transparency, bungling. It’s only months since the FA were in front of the DCMS Select Committee talking about the behavior of their former manager Mark Sampson. Then we had the announcement of the Rooney Rule promising greater opportunities for diverse candidates and yet here we have, at the end of a four month process, somebody being appointed to the number one women’s job, a team ranked third in the world, who didn’t meet the criteria for the job advertised.

"There’s many positives that Phil Neville can bring, he brings profile, he’s had amazing mentors in Alex Ferguson and of course his sister Tracey Neville - we hope he brings some of her success of the women’s game from netball. But this isn’t about Phil Neville, this is about the entire process of this recruitment. 

"You’ve got to look at the wider picture, less than 10% of coaches in the game are female. Four years ago we appointed Mark Sampson who again did not meet the criteria did not have international experience and many did not apply or pulled out of that process because they thought they needed it.”

Listen to Anna's interview in full here. (from around 1hr 28mins).

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