Non-league Darlington have “guaranteed” an interview to any “suitably qualified” female or BAME coach who applies for their managerial vacancy.

The club finished 16th in National League North this season.

BBC Sport understands the club had not been told by the Football Association to include the line in the advert.

Chelsea Women boss Emma Hayes said earlier this month that she thought it would be a “matter of time” until a female coach worked in the men’s game.

Underneath 11 requirements expected from applicants for the position, the club said that: “We welcome applications in particular from women and Black & Ethnic Minority candidates and will guarantee an interview to suitably qualified individuals who meet the specification above.”

No men’s team from the top six tiers of the English game has ever had a female manager in the modern era.

Corrine Diacre spent three seasons in charge of French second division side Clermont Foot before being appointed manager of the France women’s national team in 2017.

A 2017 EFL directive that requires clubs to interview one or more BAME coach during any recruitment process is still in effect, though no such rule is in place for clubs outside the top four divisions. At present, five clubs in the EFL have a first-team coach from a BAME background.


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