Fabio Capello quits as England manager following a disagreement over John Terry’s suspension as captain. A former FA chief executive tells Channel 4 News he is “disappointed” and “surprised”.
Fabio Capello will leave his job with immediate effect following a meeting lasting over an hour with Football Association chiefs at Wembley.
The talks took place with FA chairman David Bernstein and General Secretary Alex Horne.
The meeting was called after Capello made it clear to an Italian broadcaster that he was unhappy with the FA board’s decision to remove the captaincy from John Terry while he awaits trial on charges of racism. The case is not due to start until July.
David Bernstein said: “I would like to stress that during today’s meeting and throughout his time as England manager, Fabio has conducted himself in an extremely professional manner.
“We have accepted Fabio’s resignation, agreeing this is the right decision. We would like to thank Fabio for his work with England team and wish him every success in the future.”
Capello insisted that he will not go into detail on the reasons behind his resignation.
He told the national Italian news agency: “I leave England and I will not say anything else.”
When asked about the quotes attributed to him by other Italian news agencies, he said they were “false”.
The Italpress agency quoted Capello at length attacking the Football Association.
England striker Wayne Rooney tweeted: “Gutted capello has quit. Good guy and top coach. Got to be english to replace him. Harry redknapp for me.”
Read: FA statement in full
Mark Palios, former FA chief executive, told Channel 4 News he is “disappointed and surprised it has come to this”.
He said: “It will be hard to appoint a successor as it is getting to the business end of the season.”
Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former communications chief and football fan, said: “I’m not surprised. What on earth was he doing on Italian television and saying something that was so clearly going to get him into a difficult situation.”
Speaking live on Channel 4 News, he added: “The timing, vis-a-vis Harry Redknapp: there will now be such an overwhelming desire amongst English football fans for Harry Redknapp to be the England manager for the Euros.”
There will now be such an overwhelming desire amongst English football fans for Harry Redknapp to be the England manager for the Euros. Alastair Campbell
The FA will hold a press conference on Thursday, but with England’s first match in the Euro 2012 championship taking place on 11 June, the question of a replacement will be uppermost.
The FA has said in the past that Capello would be replaced by an English manager. The contenders for the vacant post include Harry Redknapp, the Spurs manager who was cleared of tax evasion by a court on Wednesday; Roy Hodgson, the West Brom and former Liverpool and Fulham manager; Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager; and Stuart Pearce, coach of the England under-21s.
Capello was manager for 41 matches. England won 28 of them, drew seven and lost six. Capello’s worst moment was the defeat by Germany in the last 16 at the World Cup finals in June 2011.
Former England defender Danny Mills criticised the FA’s handling of the situation and claimed the Euro 2012 campaign will be compromised as a result.
“It think the FA have handled this very badly,” he told Radio Five Live. “He’s obviously decided enough’s enough and walked out. He’s almost dropped England right in it.”
Mills was sceptical about whether Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, the favourite to take over the reins, would be able to juggle the England job with his duties at Spurs.
“I presume Harry Redknapp is the favourite, but he’s got a job to do with Spurs until the end of the season,” he said. “If it’s going to be Harry Redknapp are Spurs going to allow it?