Bernstein 'deserves credit' after Capello exit
Thursday lunchtime's news conference at Wembley told us little more than we already knew - that a disagreement between former Fabio Capello and Football Association chairman David Bernstein over the decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy left the relationship beyond repair.
But we are still none the wiser about what really happened in Bernstein's meetings with former England coach Capello at Wembley on Wednesday.
About whether the Italian received any compensation to walk away four months before his £6m-a-year contract expires. Or who his choice would be to take over.
David Bernstein met the media at Wembley on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Getty
But while the FA are left in a position critics may argue is an all-too-familiar state of disarray, Bernstein has nevertheless emerged from the latest crisis with some credit.
An accountant by profession, he calculated that Terry's criminal trial for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand was a matter beyond Capello's considerable pay grade.
As he restated on Thursday, once it became clear the trial had been adjourned until after the Euros, he felt his role as England captain had become untenable.
And while other senior figures at Wembley - including his own general secretary Alex Horne and Club England Managing Director Adrian Bevington reportedly tried to stop him staring down Capello on team matters, Bernstein, backed by his board, refused to blink.
It's not the first time the chairman, who has been in charge for just over a year, has taken a principled stand.
At the Fifa congress in Zurich last June he took the brave step of delivering a defiant speech calling for a postponement of Sepp Blatter's re-election as president following the corruption scandal involving rival candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam.
It ultimately failed, with Blatter winning a one-horse race, but he earned a lot of admirers for the way he was prepared to stand up to Fifa's vested interests.
A few months ago the sports minister Hugh Robertson said football was the worst run sport in the country. On Thursday he described Bernstein as a class act.
Despite that, such praise will feel pretty hollow as the FA begins the daunting task of identifying a new manager to take the national team into Euro 2012.
Regardless of high principles, Bernstein and the FA know the real judgment will come not with Capello's departure but with the appointment of his successor.