The changes made to Fabio Capello’s England contract were not referred to the Football Association board according to general secretary Alex Horne. Prior to last summer’s World Cup, a break-clause was removed in the Italian’s four-year deal that would have allowed both sides to separate on a fixed financial settlement.
After England were humiliated and dumped out of the tournament a number of FA board members wanted to sack Capello but The FA were not able to afford the severance pay. Horne, acting chief executive at the time, revealed only a minority of executives, including FA chairman Lord Triesman, were involved in the process.
He refuses to name who were involved but claims it was the right decision to remove the break in the contract despite the dismal performance at the World Cup. “I’ll hold my hands up on behalf of David Triesman and say, in hindsight, it was a whole board decision and should have gone to the whole board,” he told the Department of Culture Media and Sport Committee
“It did not go to the whole board. I’m not comfortable sitting here naming four or five people. The decision has been reviewed internally and we hold our hands up to a corporate governance mistake. David was the senior member involved as chairman of the association and clearly felt he had the authority to make that commitment. It was only after he left that the board questioned the decision.
“There was a contract through to 2012 for four years,” he added. “Within that contract was a clause allowing either party to terminate for an amount of liquidated damages. “We were coming under a lot of pressure in the run-up to the World Cup for certainty over whether Fabio was staying or not. There was speculation about clubs coming in for Fabio.”
“Having qualified top of the group very comfortably, facing that uncertainty going into the tournament, it was exactly the right thing to do.”