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Bernstein 'deserves credit' after Capello exit

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David Bond | 20:57 UK time, Thursday, 9 February 2012

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.


  • Comment number 1.

    Either it's just the FA saying what it takes to dig them out of trouble or they have actually been very sensible and well conducted throughout this difficult time. A very strong and clear conference (OK there were some questions which were never going to be answered no matter how many times they were asked) but I can't fault their decision making process. The trial postponement seems outside their control and complicated matters significantly. The last thing you need is a the FA and manager so publicly divided in the run up to a tournament, especially if, as the FA say, they were under the impression that they and Mr Capello had reached a consensus or at least an understanding.

    I don't think the front runners for the job will giving a knee-jerk yes to the FA. I suspect there will be a lot of voices in their ears questioning whether it's all really worth it.

    Here's hoping they find the right person and soon, and that they can pick apart the captaincy mess for a start.

  • Comment number 2.


  • Comment number 3.

    What a load of rubbish. Sounds more like a journo trying to suck up to the powers that be. The two questions that have yet to be satisfactorily answered are 1. Why did Bernstein decide that Terry's position as Captain is morally more untenable just because the date of the trial has been set rather than when he was actually charged in December. 2. Why, when it would obviously undermine Capello's position, did they not have the professional courtesy of including him in the discussions to remove Terry from the Captaincy.
    The FA heirachy obviously have the powers to remove anyone they chose but why exclude Capello. The only reason I can see is that it was a deliberate attempt by Bernstein to engineer the outcome we now have. Capello was not appointed by Bernstein and he is the new broom who is probably desparat to curry favour with the fans.
    Another point worth asking is whether the 'code of conduct' that was discussed briefly at the press conference, is going to apply to the management team as well as the players?? If so, I wonder if there are any 'skeletons' in the Redknapp cupboard that will come back to haunt Bernstein.

  • Comment number 4.

    The other revealing point was when Bevington did not say he categorically agreed with the Terry decision, just that he supported the Board's decision!!!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Is there any chance that the BBC can provide another blog or article to cover Fabio Capello's resignation and the subsequent search for the next England manager?

    I've looked around the site but there don't seem to be too many covering the last two days' series of events.

  • Comment number 6.

    I don't see how the FA interfering in team affairs is anything but deplorable. Venables, Hoddle, Eriksson all had the same disgusting treatment from the FA. Now Capello, a gentleman and a true professional whatever you might think about his tactics. He deserved much better.

  • Comment number 7.

    i personally think that the "root and branch" changes have not happened. The F.A is just a gentleman's club. Outdated and out of date.
    I reckon it needs to be ran by each president of the fan clubs of the 20 premier league clubs.
    People who understand football.
    At the moment it is full of stuffy old suits who only care about where there next cognac is coming from.

  • Comment number 8.

    @5 For once I agree with you haha

  • Comment number 9.

    If the board and / or the chairman are going to interfere in team selection which the naming of captain is part of they should not bother with a manager and just run the whole thing themselves.

    Capello is quite right to walk

  • Comment number 10.

    Its heartening to see many people get this is all about media 'spin', trying to paint this as some 'great principled act' lol . Fortunately most aren't as stupid as media would like, and understand the media are just happy to have something to write about and blogs to generate 'hits', and do not care about English football.

    They will just as happy to stick the knife into 'arry down the road, as they just have with Capello. As others have pointed out, the key issue did they leave Capello out of the meeting to decide the captaincy? if so, and it appears so since he was out of the country, the issue is NOT about Terry but the board deliberately usurping the authority of the manager, and all the spin, and talking up 'arry as the next 'saviour ' ( and we all know how that ends right) ...won't change the facts i.e. the board forced Capello out right before Euro's ....knowing he would not accept being treated so poorly, and nor should he. He is not some 'coperate lacky' to hand down decisions from on high, but the person responsible for the team - he carried the blame for SA results, not the FA board....but now, THEY will be responsible and lets see how they looks after Euro championships.

  • Comment number 11.

    "Bernstein has come out of this with some credit". What an absolutely nonsensical observation this is.
    I have never rated Capello, almost from the start but to make a decision like this without even talking to your manager is completely unjustified under any circumstances and is a perfect example of brainless bungling.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    'i personally think that the "root and branch" changes have not happened. The F.A is just a gentleman's club. Outdated and out of date.'

    Too right. Different sport but Will Carling's infamous 'old farts' comment applies to the FA, too.

    What I don't understand are those who cite examples in other areas of employment where someone accused of such a charge as John Terry would be suspended pending investigation, without necessarily assuming guilt on the part of the accused. That being the case, Terry should have not only been stripped of the captaincy, but more pertinently, dropped from the squad, (i.e. suspended pending investigation) and as the alleged offence happened whilst playing for Chelsea as opposed to England, he should have been stripped of the captaincy and suspended from the squad there, too. That he hasn't doesn't seem to me to have brought the same level of outcry from those supporting Terry's removal as captain of England, and even that only came once the FA took that route.

    Not for the first time, the FA acted without properly thinking things through. Remember their bungling when looking to appoint Luis Felipe Scolari as England manager, and ending up trying to convince all and sundry that Steve McClaren was the first choice all along?

  • Comment number 14.

    Is this written by the same person that insists on giving ridiculous titles on everything vickery writes?

    either way, this propaganda milk is sour

  • Comment number 15.

    I am in particular agreement with Mr. Matley whereby he states that it would seem alright for Terry to still represent England but not as Captain. Surely if the FA think this cloud hanging over Terry is dark enough in their minds then he should not be allowed to even put on the shirt. Of course, he is still innocent until proven guilty...isn,t he? Or is this step just enough to satisfy those who considerer themselves on a higher moral ground.

  • Comment number 16.

    I remember someone on Question Time saying 'just because you are a part of the official machine of opinion writers, does not mean are talking for or have the backing of the people'.

    Nothing supports that statement better than this article and the whole back patting, smug approach of the media and those we are forced to listen to (but do not hear, even though they still cannot grasp this).

    Capello wanted Terry to be judged in a court of law. In essence, given a fair trial and the right to defend himself. The very backbone of a decent society.

    To try to convince us all now that those who had him removed are worthy of anything but sorrow from us, is outrageous.

    The only one to be admired is Capello, who was not willing to play hypocrite and say what told just to keep his money.

  • Comment number 17.

    By engineering the downfall of coach and captain a mere 4 months before Euros, the FA has perhaps unwittingly tied itself directly to the performance of good ship England. Now if everything should fall to pieces, we will know who is to blame. The FA had best pray that smoother sailing lies ahead.

  • Comment number 18.

    i think they Fa are a bunch of old farts. I also believe they should suspend terry while he awaits trial or they should not get involved but they have as always walked down the middle and made a complete mess.
    surely then he would make an effort not to postpone the trial.
    the people who govern must stand up and be counted. if they get it wrong the loose the job. Have some guts and stand by your beliefs

  • Comment number 19.

    No it looks like the FA didn't think this through. A competent approach would have been to speak with the manager first, explain the action that is to be taken, seek the manager's agreement to public words to offer (e.g. "although innocence is assumed ..."), then enact the decision, then make it public with an agreed statement from the manager.

    As it is the FA seems to have bungled, and will now rely on fans' grumpiness and, apparently public national bias (is there not free movement of labour in EU), to put in an English/British manager. Look at the stats Capello has an excellent record.

    [OK he should have played Hart at the world cup and avoided the Green gaff, things would have been different.
    OK he shouldn't have played a non-performing Rooney, an error also made by Sven, things would have been different.
    OK the ref should have allowed Lampard's volley, things could have been different.
    But overall excellent stats.]

  • Comment number 20.

    Credit, for Bernstein, absolute rubbish.

    Credit for what? Being part of a system that employs a man and declaring we have a man of strength and then when the FA challenge him, they expect him to stand off. Well they got the man of strength part right, for Capello.

    Has no one in the FA ever thought, we keep getting the wrong man for the job because that is what has happened time and time again. They are not fit to act as employers when it comes to interviewing candidates.

    Where is this marvellous grass roots revolution that has been bandied about for so long?

    We have a situation where a board is all powerful and cannot be challenged, they flex their muscles in the knowledge no one can stop them.

    Where have the journalists all disappeared to, they cannot all be for this monopoly that can never be seen as wrong.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    Now that the FA takes racism seriously, maybe it's time for another campiagn;

    "Let's kick the politicians out of football"

  • Comment number 23.

    I have read all 20 comments and it is a resounding "what a load of old twaddle" this article is.

    Completely deplorable behaviour by Bernstein and the board, Capello was completely justified to walk away and he can do so with his head held high and an impressive record for a team of perrenial England. I agree with #19 on Capellos errors but you have to see the bigger picture. There is no way back for Capello to England.....very sad situation for genuine England fans of which there are obviously none on the board.

    So many things stink about this situation, John Terry has not been proved guilty yet the FA decide to punish him anyway, but not so much that he can't help them....fair play to Terry to be man enough and enough of a patriot to make himself available for an Association that has sold him down the river to get rid of an unwanted manager. Dispicable behaviour by the FA and very non-English.

    This is all politics, accountants are notoriously bad CEO's, but I agree, it should be the boards positions on the line at the Euros....not the poor sucker they'll get to take the blame for their probable failure to win the Euros. It was a possibility under Capello. They'll squirm out of responsibility somehow.......makes me sick.

  • Comment number 24.

    For as long as I can remember the FA has made one mistake after another with the appointment of England managers. Ever since they turned down Brian Clough. England played great football and developed under Venables and Hoddle but they couldn't last. The performances at the last World Cup were an absolute disgrace. Our leading footballers couldn't pass and retain the ball. What were they scared off? What was the coach scared of?

    I can't speak for other sports but tennis and football are stuck with governing bodies that lavish huge amounts on themselves while failing the long-term healthy development of their sports. I am sick of them. Someone needs to start up rival governing bodies now that can ultimately challenge and depose the current regimes. It will take a long time.

    Don't get your hopes up, England fans. There's only a very slim chance we'll get a manager who will be given the freedom to send out a national team to entertain and make us proud. A coach with the guts to make his selections instead of having the media and the FA tell him who to pick.

    Let's have a great coach in charge. Someone who will restore our faith in our footballers.

  • Comment number 25.

    England had a truly professional manager in Capello (66% win rate - the best of all England managers) and one with top principles - innocent until proven guilty being one of them. He had the guts to stick by his principles unlike the FA who don't seem to have any.

  • Comment number 26.

    rofl what a joke the only thing this has done is make us a bigger laughing stock, who in their right mind would take on a job as boss of england ? no one with any integrity honour thats for sure, could you imagine one of those weird looking owners at manchester utd telling fergie whos capt ect. the F.A. should never ever be involved in team selection in any way shape or form specially as they paid top dollar for mr capello to make those decisions. ?

  • Comment number 27.

    The blog author was at the press conference. I doubt if us posters were. So he has the opportunity (that we didn't have) of smelling the atmosphere. Bernstein clearly came across as someone who was confident about what he is doing. I for one can't criticise him over this.

    What's happened? John Terry is accused of racially abusing an opposition player. The police, after investigation, decide to bring charges; we don't know yet when the case will be called but the general expectation would be within a couple of months. No England games likely within that period, and the next game is actually a friendly. Don't panic, chaps, we should have an outcome one way or another by then.

    Chelsea and/or Terry's lawyers decide to play a long gane in terms of the hearing and plead that it will be difficult to be prepared for the trial and various other mitigations no doubt. FA need to reassess the situation - no outcome until after Euro 2012; there is a 50/50 chance that Terry will be found guilty/not guilty; what would it look like if he is found guilty, and he has been the voice of English football throughout a disastrous/reasonable/highly succesful Euro 2012 campaign (delete the performance options as appropriate)? England will look completely stupid and dysfunctional especially if we have complained about the racist chanting directed at some of our players during some of the matches.

    So, while Terry's status (innocent until proven guilty and all that) has not changed, the wider circumstances have. In terms of Terry being picked for a game, that would be something to be assessed closer to the time, based on the likely atmosphere in the dressing room; if found guilty I think that would have been the end of him as an England player.

    Capello doesn't seem to have grasped what an issue this is. The FA might have handled the dialogue with him better, but bottom-line Capello is around to the end of Euro 2012 (or when England get knocked out which is the more likely) but the FA, like it or lump it, are here for good. The proverbial doo-doo would have hit the fan after Capello's watch is over. So his should not be the main voice on this issue.

    So let's give Bernstein a chance. The mood music is good so far. That's my reading of it all.

  • Comment number 28.

    Oh My god Mr Bond,why do you persist with this pro FA stance on this issue?

    Did you not get the message from your blog just a few days ago? You remember, the one where you had to edit the original article later on because you misjudged public opinion on the issue so poorly!

    Bernstein has got this horribly wrong and should resign for the following reasons:

    The FA did not call this right for the following reasons:

    a) If Terry should had be suspended the FA should have done it at the moment the CPS charged Terry, and they should have suspended him from the team,not just as captain. They did neither of these things, they tried to fudge the issue.

    b) When the court case was set for July and the FA saw fit to review the Terry captaincy they should have involved Capello in the decision making process. The decision would have still been the same, but at least Capello would have had his chance to air his own views, which as team manager was his absolute right. It would have then been far easier for him to accept the decision as he was part of the process.

    c) Having made the decision to remove the armband from Terry they should have informed him in a face to face meeting,not via a phone call. The issue is far too complicated to explain over the phone, and having previously told a guy he was innocent till proven guilty, then having had a complete change of heart on the matter,the least the FA could have done was explain this to Terry in person.

    Yes the FA were in a horrible position and yes they made a difficult decision under public scrutiny, but the way they made, implemented and communicated their decision was appalling and totally unprofessional.

    Bernstein should do the honourable thing,admit his incompetence and resign.

  • Comment number 29.

    Sorry Dunstruggling but you are trying to paint a rosy picture of Bernstein. Surely they should have acted when Terry was charged. It is a fatuous argument to suggest that they were right to wait to find out when the court case was and then whether that would interfere with the Euros. If you claim to have a moral standard then it applies at the first opportunity, not just when it becomes inconvenient.
    As for Bernstein and the FA, I don't think they have bungled as that suggests they have made an error. I believe this is exactly the outcome they were hoping for which brings into question their own morality and business ethics. Bernstein didn't get where he is today by being nice and moral and lets not forget that at the end of the day, he is afterall an accountant!!!!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Great article, could agree more about Bernstein... nice to see a leader who takes a principled stand...

    It should have been Fabio that took the Captaincy off Terry; no matter how silly he would have looked by stripping him of it and then reinstating him and then stripping him of it again.
    Capello’s refusal to see the wider implications, clearly illustrates to me he wasn't the man for England...

    As a Chelsea fan, I hope Hidink gets the job until the Euros are over and then ‘Arry starts with a clean slate in August…

  • Comment number 31.

    This could all have been avoided if Terry wasnt so selfish and arrogant, although after a plethora of unsavoury incidents throughout his career for which he has shown no remorse, hardly surprising. All he had to do, without any admission of guilt, was to say that he realised the detrimental effect his criminal proceedings( and dont forget this is what they are) would have on the team, and step down from both the captaincy and the team until it was dealt with. Then no Capello resignation and no chaos. Why has Terry been the only one to escape criticism in all this when he is the cause

  • Comment number 32.

    I should have added that at the core of this is a fundamentally serious issue. And that is that John Terry has been charged with racial abuse, under the criminal law. This is not just a football issue. I have seen very little condemnation of racist activity and behaviour among all these posts criticising the FA.

    Re Andrew #29: Yes, the FA could have acted earlier; it's a debateable point. But might they also have been giving John Terry time to reflect on all this. What role have his Advisers (Agent, Chelsea management) played in all this. Seems like they could have been saying to him "let's push the case back till after the Euros - you'd probably retire after that anyway, so a postponement will give you the opportunity to milk a few more commercial opportunities in the lead up to the competition". Or maybe not. The FA aren't the only players here.

  • Comment number 33.

    The FA are always in a no win situation given how football so divides opinion and how everyone has an opinion about football. People bang on with clichés about how outdated the FA is etc but few really look at the good work that goes on at grass roots level and how they have been slowly changing the structure of football coaching, the evidence for this is starting to come through at youth sides at International level.

    On one level we demand strong leadership from the FA to take on the massive egos that pervades top level football then everyone moans when they take decisive action.

    Football is about expectations and the decision to confront Capello was easier given the countries low expectations of Euro 2012. His departure may actually improve our chances. Capello is an honourable man but under the Italian the squad has rarely played with the freedom and flair that the same players perform for their clubs.

    As for Terry his position as England captain (an honorary position) was untenable given the accusations, in any other part of life the situation would have been teh same, why should football be any different. But whilst Terry might be unpopular with all but Chelsea fans he seems a Jekyll and Hyde. It is worth reading former Chelsea trainee Sam Tillens' blog which pulls no punches about his life in English football, but his article on Terry is enlightening and shows a different side to the man as Chelsae capatain that few ever see.

  • Comment number 34.

    As for Terry his position as England captain (an honorary position)
    This is what I find interesting because as said above the England Captaincy is an honorary position like a knighthood, but it is not a job.

    But I don´t recall anyone ever losing their knighthood pending a court trial.

  • Comment number 35.

    I have seen very little condemnation of racist activity and behaviour among all these posts criticising the FA.
    That is because this particular blog is not about the issue of racism. There have been plenty previous blogs on the topic of racism, but the lack of focus on the issue in this case is not an indication of apathy over racism.

  • Comment number 36.

    Reading this blog and the comments posted so far, I am impressed by how knowledgeable and astute you all are and I agree with most of what has been written.

    I actually thought England could have had a chance in the European Championship, sadly, I don't think they do anymore. It was very poor judgement to let this matter end the way it has. No manager can step in now and do a good job, there just isin't enough time unless he was part of the previous coaching staff perhaps. If Harry is the man, it puts him and Tottenham in an unusual situation. He was able to convince some of his players not to leave his club, how will it appear if he now leaves even if it is to coach the national team.

    I think Bernstein made a huge error here. He should have left things alone instead his meddling brings embarassment to English football. If he Harry takes over maybe Tottenham can hire Capello, of course for a far lower salary. Strange if this happens but not any more strange than what has already occured.

  • Comment number 37.

    I feel a bit sorry for the FA - damned if you do, damned if you don’t. football is full of opinionated people willing to sound of the minute they feel aggrieved or wronged. Frankly this is hardly the FA’s fault. This is another mess caused by a footballer who gives the impression he thinks he is bigger than the law and cannot keep his mouth shut or opinions to himself, followed closely on his heels by a pack of blood sucking journo’s desperate to wind up the story and pump up the spite and vitriol.

    What else could the FA do ? they are not perfect, name someone or some organisation that is ! However in this they had no choice, Terry was accused and when the trial date was put back until after the Euro’s they could do no different. Remember their job is not to look after John Terry, but manage the game at ALL levels and you cannot have the Captain at a championship with this hanging over him – end of.

    Also – it now comes to light that Capello did know of the FA’s decision before it was announced – but this fact seems to have gone unnoticed or unreported by our wonderful press – funny that. I guess facts and the truth don’t make good copy !

  • Comment number 38.

    I certainly dont agree that this was a good decision by Bernstien or the FA. Infact it wasnt a decision that was thiers to make. The captaincy of a football team is a tactical, playing issue and so one for the manager alone to make. The team seem to support him, the manager does also. I certainly dont agree John Terry should be captain, in fact I dont think he would be in my first choice 11 anyway! but I am not the manager, its not my decision, I dont see him in the dressing room or on the training field or even know the effect he has on the players around him during a game. Capello does.
    If the FA feel a stance has to be made, then they should move to suspend or ban him. However as he has yet to stand trial that would be premature and so unethical.
    If the FA are going to interfere who will want the job? only the most patriotic, so lets pray Harry gets it, because there simply isnt another viable candidate who meets the "british" criteria.

    As a slight diversion, why must they be british? Andy Flower has done a good job, in fact Capellos record is very good, and Svens was much better than Keegan or McLaren. Harry is the best candidate that is likely to accept, but after him there isnt an English man close.

  • Comment number 39.

    Oh dear Mr Bond, how can you read this whole situation so incorrectly!?
    There are only two possibilities;
    1. Bernstein is just incompetent, the way he handled this was ridiculous. He and the board simply had to consult Capello before deciding to strip Terry of the captaincy. Not to include the current manager in the discussions is incomprehensible.

    2. As suggested by others above, Bernstein engineered this.

    So Mr Bersnstein is either a fool, or a conniving individual. And Chairman of the FA.

    Mr Bond / Hussein you were a poor England cricket captain and you are an even worse journalist. I think you should seriously consider your position as Head of Sport or Head of Editing.

    #28 has got it right. And by the way, what have the Romans ever done for us?

  • Comment number 40.

    I am sick of the politically correct lot sticking their noses into sport, John Terry hasn't been found guilty of this so called offence, and yet the FA have assumed he is guilty, just to placate the PC mob! How many times has a black or asian player said something of a racist nature to a white player without it ever being mentioned?
    Lets just concentrate on the sport and leave other issues to the politicians!

  • Comment number 41.

    Post 34 - Roman Philosopher

    Sorry old Chap - Try Allen Standford, remember the £1million cricket man !

    In October 2009 the National Honors Committee of Antigua and Barbuda voted unanimously to strip Allen Stanford of his knighthood, and informed the prime minister of this decision on October 26.

    On November 2, 2009 the recommendation was forwarded to the then Governor-General, Sir James Carlisle. The order to revoke Stanford's knighthood and insignia was approved and was served upon Stanford on April 1, 2010 after Governor-General Dame Louise Lake-Tack signed the order revoking his knighthood.

    On January 24, 2012 Allen Stanford entered the Houston Federal Courthouse, U.S. District Judge David Hittner presiding, and the trial began

  • Comment number 42.

    @40 phyliss77

    "it was the correct decision with that sort of question mark hanging over his head".... David Cameron (politician)

  • Comment number 43.

    I completely agree with #28. The author of this article diesnt have a good knowledge of football. I've suggested in other blogs that he could write on other sports but leave football alone for other jurnos, as football is clearly not his niche.

    David Bernstein acted like an accountant , and not as a leader. Accountants do not manage businesses for the good reason that they do not see the bigger picture. He completely failed in his role when he failed to involve the football manager in a decision involving a player. In any organised work place for example the BBC, if the author of this article was being diciplined, the author will expect the action to be communicated by his immediate line manger and not directly by Mr Thompson without the knowledge of his line manager, most especially when the line manager has planned objectives for the author

  • Comment number 44.

    The FA has never had an agenda other than self promotion. This time they have misjudged the overwhelming feeling of the fans as has Mr Bond who should resign his job as Chief Sports Editor.
    To not consult the manager over a team matter is not a matter of principle but principal - lets tell him who is in charge. I have little support for John Terry, (is he worth his place on current form?) but he is guilty of nothing until proved so.
    When the FA stooped to appeal the 3 match suspension of Rooney for a clear violent act they abandoned any principles they may have held - in England a definite 3 match ban.
    To suggest Capello was in the wrong is idiotic and to suggest the FA or their Chairman are principled even more so! Self seeking publicity seekers - yes I will give you that. Be ashamed FA members very ashamed!

  • Comment number 45.

    I agree with much of the article, the only thing is Fabio Capello can be said to be sticking to his principles - that a person is entirely innocent until proven guilty (which used to be standard in this country).

    I think this issue (givent he recent events regarding Chris Hulme, etc.) goes wider than sport but is one that obviously at the moment football needs to address. For instance Lee Bowyer gained some credit for playing right through his court proceedings for the incident also involving Jonathan Woodgate. On the other hand, how much does 'Caesar's wife need to be above suspicion'?

  • Comment number 46.

    I fundamentally disagree with David Bond, who I think has completely missed the point.

    Bernstein has has tried to assert his and the FA's authority in a manner that his left English football in complete disarray. Ensuring the loss of one of the most successful England managers in history, just a few months before a major championship, is not good leadership. Undermining his authority by not including him in key decisions is not good leadership. Pushing him to resign, just to win a battle of egos, is not good leadership.

    England will appoint someone who is not in the same calibre as Capello (even if it is Redknapp) and will have a horrible time of it as a result. Only in the summer will people look back at this episode and realise what damage was done.

    David Bond - I look forward to hearing what you'll have to say then.

  • Comment number 47.

    Final thing - question to all 'anti-'FA' posters:

    Not say you are wrong but would you have an England captain going into a major tournament with and ALLEGATION, say, of child abuse against him?

    We are talking basic principles here, after all.

  • Comment number 48.

    The short-sightedness of some of the comments is quite amazing.

    As mentioned, Terry's racism case is no longer a football issue, it's in the courts. The FA may not have managed it well but stripping him of the captaincy was the right decision. He should ideally be removed from International duty. This does not mean he is guilty. Can people get that through their heads. It's standard practise in many industries. If Terry was a true team player he would step down for the team to reduce the media circus that has formed around it until he has been able to clear his name.

    To think people were calling for fresh blood in the team and removing the "golden generation", yet now they're calling for a 31 year old to be kept as captain. How fickle English fans are.

    Capello clearly doesn't see the bigger picture, and has gone against the FA. He's not been a great manager for England. Statistics are only useful if you use the right ones. People seem to be focussing on his win-rate percentage. Yes he's won a lot of games in qualifiers and friendlies. Because they are obviously what matter (sarcasm). Sir Alf Ramsey had a far lower win-percentage but we actually won when it counted in 1966.

    Just be thankful we're not paying £6 million a year for him any more. And yes, "we" are paying, ie the fans. One thing the FA really screwed up was Capello's contract. It's the fans that pay for his salary via overpriced tickets, Sky subs etc...

  • Comment number 49.

    "Bernstein 'deserves credit' after Capello exit"

    No he doesn't! If he couldn't/wouldn't get his board, Capello and Terry together to present a common front then he shouldn't be left in charge of a sweet shop. Whatever Terry has/hasn't done there's a professional way of handling these things, and then there's the amateur bumblings of the FA.

    It's imbecilic ramblings like this article that helps make English sport governance a laughing stock.

  • Comment number 50.


    Could not agree more. At last someone who has stepped back and looked at the whole situation in a reasoned way rather than the usual knee-jerk responses. Most of the people on here could have had a job at the NOTW. Apart from Patches who continues to be genius.

  • Comment number 51.

    I find it interesting that the main thrust of Capello's TV interview was that the foundation of English law is that you are innocent until proved guilty.
    Clearly the prosecutors feel there is enough evidence to press ahead with charging Terry, but that doesn't necessarily mean (no matter how odious he's been in the past) that he is guilty.
    It is this point alone that the the F A have reacted to and regardless of whether it was wise for Capello to comment about it (obviously not if he wanted to keep his job!) he is correct.
    If he had two years left on his contract rather than four months, I wonder if Bernstein would have been quite so 'tough'. I think the F A Chairman saw a great opportunity to let everyone in English football know who's actually in charge!

  • Comment number 52.

    This article is a load of crap. The only one to come out of this with any credit is Capello who refused to allow administrators and especially accountants, influence sporting matters.

  • Comment number 53.

    what #48 said

    also, the police don't decide to prosecute, they gather the evidence, and the CPS decide (sometimes get it totally wrong, HR is a case in point, but you don't hear when they get it right)

    Capello took a stand on his captain, can't blame him to be honest, I suspect he sees another England tournament debacle on the horizon, and is off to somewhere more to his taste

    Terry is the best choice for captain in the squad, but sometimes there are bigger issues to consider, Terry will have his day in court, just a shame it wasn't scheduled for before the Euros

    other posters on other blogs have said that they wouldn't mind if the captain was an axe-murderer as long as the team was successful; you have to hope they were joking....

  • Comment number 54.

    Surely the FA had more to lose than Fabio. No coach 4 months out, an interim coach not a good solution, difficult to get a Club to release their coach.

    Perhaps Fabio (you have to admire how he conducted himself) was the instigator, knowing the Terry thing would disrupt his squad; Rooney had done so already and the FA decision may have been the last straw for him.

    What I find strange is that a resignation position was reached in an hour's meeting when the surrounding issues were complex. A paper contract of some sort would have been agreed and signed, all without reference to lawyers. Very curious.

    Seems like one party or another entered the meeting with a predetermined outcome.

  • Comment number 55.

    Perhaps I am stupid. The FA hired Capello. Capello's job, as for all managers before him, was to pick the squad, appoint a captain, prepare for and manage games. He did just that. The moron culture so prevalent in today's game regularly raised its head, and - as usual - there were off- and on- pitch player antics. The Terry allegation re Ferdiand was one. The Manager decided to leave him in situ pending due process. Later, much later, the FA - itself in its usual moronic convulsions - made a decision rightfully the manager's to make; it took the captaincy from Terry. With the manager thus undermined, he had no choice. Were there even a speck of courage, bottle, decorum or class about the FA, they would have brought Capello in, told him they were concerned about the Terry situation, asked him to consider taking the capataincy from him, and decided whether to sack the manager if this wasn't done. Of couse, that might have exposed them to a law suit. So, to Hell with established governance standards, long live legal advice. Terry ends up with no arm-band authority, the FA with no moral authority, but Capello with lots. It's also interesting to see the usual spike of xenophobia, and the usual opportunity to note the FA fans in the fifth estate. Weep

  • Comment number 56.

    Could this not just be a kosher connected compliment from Bond?

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    Re 47 - Lets make one thing clear - the decision by the CPS to proceed with cases does not mean a guilty verdict. The alleged crime has no bearing until proved guilty. Redknapp just now, Jones a few years ago - Tax evasion (acceptable?) Molestation (unacceptable?) both returned not guilty!
    The blog is about the actions of the FA Chairman and does it merit praise? We are all entitled to our opinion - mine a resounding NO!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    Agree with Rob, most people are being pretty short-sighted about this.

    Until this week the resolution of the case against Terry looked like it would be sorted out long before the Euros. Whatever you think of Terry, whatever your thoughts on the case, it didn't really matter because his innocence or guilt would be proven before the tournament began. Lovely.

    The moment Chelsea and Southwark Court delayed this resolution, it changed the situation entirely. Innocent or not, Terry would go to the tournament with a huge cloud over him and the team. Players would justifiably be divided with their Captain. The media circus would have been distracting and even more fervent than normal. And the moment anything went wrong, the whole house of cards would come down for the FA, the England team and anyone connected.

    That is why Bernstein does deserve some credit. He took the decision because the situation had changed outside of their control.

    Capello was not central to discussions because he had made his position completely clear already. Terry was his man whatever happened. We all know he doesn't really care who agrees with him and we all know he wouldn't change his mind. So the FA had little choice but to take it out of his hands.

    Capello has rarely shown that he is a good judge of the mood of his squads and individual players. He sees it as neither here nor there as long as they do their job and listen to him. In this case though, he seems to have been short-sighted in just how big an issue this could be during a major tournament....

  • Comment number 60.

    Yet more drivel from a BBC 'sports journalist'. You all really need to buy a shovel.....

  • Comment number 61.

    So let get this right....
    You are saying that it's correct to punish someone before they are found guilty and making decisions that place your company/group/team into turmoil is a very good thing?
    Hmm... Football seems to be making it's own laws....both Civil and buisness.

  • Comment number 62.

    Further to my previous comment, it was pointed out to me today by a lawyer that the court case is being labelled as 'very serious' by the BBC. In legal terms this is not true, in fact someone with Terry's wealth , if found guilty,would get a bigger fine if he was caught speeding.
    I assume this means then that Berstein (Sticking to his pricipals) will suspend anyone who is caught driving too fast or urinating in a public place?
    Well done the Spurs Chairman who did not suspend/sack Harry when he was charged!
    I can't see how Harry can take the job.

  • Comment number 63.

    When we (England) crash out of the Euro's as unspectacularly as usual, Terry (arm-band and all) would have been made a scapegoat and the following court case would have been a nice distraction from our abysmal performance.

    The FA decided to act before this was an option and thus through their intervention; take a larger share in responsibility of our fortunes.

    I applaud the FA for taking a strong stance and putting their proverbial heads on the chopping block (exactly like Capello did). Capello should have been strong enough to strip Terry of the Captaincy before his employers made it mandatory.

    Everyone at one time or another has been told to do something by their boss that they don't agree with. Capello voiced his objection, didn't get his way, and quit... everyone who works for a living has the same option...

    Personally don’t feel Terry should be selected for England at all. Just like in a lot of normal jobs, he should be placed on gardening-leave or suspension until the case is heard.
    If he was really interested in playing for England, he could schedule the case in Chelsea's time.

    Just to add some context, I'm a Chelsea fan of 20+ years...

  • Comment number 64.

    If nothing else the ridiculous decision to strip Terry of the captaincy by the FA has set a standard. If he is to be punished before proven guilty then how many other players will this effect. Taking it further if a player or manager has a criminal conviction should that bar them from the team?

    If your going to take a 'stand on principle' you had better check the ground you are standing on is not shifting sands.

  • Comment number 65.

    Really cannot get my head around these journo's making out this was a great move - so now we have Rooney suspended for start of Euro's, no captain and no manager. With the latter two being because of the Terry incident, it will of course be hilarious now IF Terry is found innocent...I can see the headlines now after a disastrous Euro campaign and Terry walking out of court with the not guilty verdict!!!

    Also wonder what the BBC journo's would be saying if for example the Glaziers had gone over Fergusons head?

  • Comment number 66.

    Principled stands are pointless media fare. If the FA wants to have principles, establish them for the entire squad. Form a code of conduct to make it clear to everyone their responsibilities, requirements and penalties. Then when a decision is faced the route to a decision is clear. But even then the FAs job isn't done. At that stage you INCLUDE the manager in the decision not inform him of it afterwards. That doesn't mean you have to do what the manager says it means you don't tell him about it afterwards. The way the FA managed it screams of egos trying to undermine the manager. Nice. They had the time to call the 13 (?) board members before it was agreed why not the MANAGER.

    The FA are still inept even if you like the resulting decision(I do sort of but think Terry should be excluded from the squad and oh BTW i support Chelsea). If you are under criminal charges you are suspended from the national side.

    The FA did not establish the criteria for decisions nor communicate properly and that is NOT management. They also did not go far enough. By leaving the lightening rod in the squad all they have created is cliques and disunity. And you don't run the FA with your trousers. Communicate. The came close to having a principle. Wow. The board mismanaged the situation royally.

    BTW it seems to me most of this support for the FA has more to do with the fact most 'journalists' (and i include you DB) did not like Fabio Capello very much and therefore are very happy not to have him round. This is typified by the unrelenting support for Harry R. There is no balance to the Harry R conversation whatsoever and there are other sides.

    Or is it just that Harry is on a nice pedestal so you get to knock him off. Guess that works for the FA as well. Why not build them up for this pathetic attempt at management. Betting there will be something better (simpler) to knock them down for soon.

  • Comment number 67.

    I am astounded at not only the BBC sports editor, but other newspaper columnists and other sports journo's of their backing for this disgraceful set of decisions.

    Either Terry is innocent until proven guilty, or he is banned from wearing the 3 lions on his shirt full stop. why is there an in between? Ludicrous behaviour.

    This blog just shows how out of touch the media in this country are with the real fans and supporters of England. the majority of this blog has found the FA's actions and decisions to be nothing short of ridiculous.

    Whether Fabio is/was the right man for the job is not part of the issue here - but why do sports writers and editors think they can spout such drivel is beyond me.

    David Bernstein is a coward and the only man with any substance in this matter is Fabio Capello.

  • Comment number 68.

    There is no credit for anyone in the FA and particuarly not Bernstein in this whole thing. Capello is a world class manager who has won titles everywhere he has been and they push him out in the run up to a major tornament. Idiots the lot of them.
    Its laughable how anyone could even think Redknapp is comparable to Capello; Redknapp maybe the best English manager, but he's no winner he's a nearly man (which is admittedly far better than the also rans that every other English manager around at the moment is).
    As for the FA to state that the replacement should be British if at all possible; I suggest they give themselves 8 game bans all round as this isnt looking for the best man for the job but smacks of small mindedness and basically racism. Not that any top international manager would take the job after seeing how Capello (probably the best manager from the last 20 years after Fergie) was treated.

  • Comment number 69.


    I agree whole heartedly with your disdain for the FA

    however I 100% feel that the manager of the English team should be English

    The best English manager and the best English players shuold represent our country - that is not racist in any sense of the word

    If not why don't we give British passports to messi, ronaldo et al ???

  • Comment number 70.

    So if the next England manager ends up having a court case to deal with during his tenure, I fully expect Bernstein to tell him: 'Look, we'll let you pick the team and sit on the touchline during matches, but we feel it's in everybody's interest if we strip you of the term 'manager' until this blows over just so we can be seen to be you know, doing the right thing'.

  • Comment number 71.

    #5 as an Englishman living in Scotland, I couldn't agree with you more!

    I've been flabbergasted by the FA's decisions on many occasions, but I have to say Bernstein has it spot on. He's established an important point of principle. It's not enough to be a great player, to make the England squad you should recognise your additional duty as a role model, an ambassador for your country. In that respect, I totally agree with #66.

    If, and this is questionable, Terry's form warranted a place in the Euro's squad, as a man of character and leadership he should have come out immediately following the announcement of his trial date and stepped down from the Captaincy in order to clear his name, first and foremost.

    He didn't do that, which forced the FA's hand. Should they have consulted with Capello? Absolutely, that's why you appoint a manager! What would Capello's reaction have been if he'd been invited to express his view? Who knows, but it looks like he would have insisted on selecting Terry on the basis of 'innocent until proven guilty'. But how could the squad look up to Terry as their 'go to man/inspiring leader' with all that hanging over his head. If he's innocent and gets his form back, then John Terry warrants a place in the squad – until then look elsewhere.

    #68 Normally I'd agree with you about the 'best man for the job' principle, but not anymore. After experimenting with two exceptionally expensive foreign managers neither of whom have really had any impact on the England team, i think it is time to appoint a manager who works with English players in an English league every day, who understands their mentality and the unique pressure facing a member of today's England's squad. Gary Neville summed up perfectly what it's like playing for England these days - where fear of failure overrides the pride of pulling on the jersey. Perhaps an English manager can generate a squad atmosphere where fear does not prevail.

  • Comment number 72.

    Capello had no option but to walk. Bernstein had an obligation to review the matter with Capello before announcements were made. Another FA cock up.Harry Renknapp has no notable achievment to his name bar making lots of dosh out of a small impoverished club.

  • Comment number 73.

    I think we can 'Credit' Bernstein for putting the England national team into chaos -

    "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."

    Is an interesting concept - maybe the calculations went something like this:

    1+1 = 3

    Oh I've got one too many - lets put Capello in an untenable position!

  • Comment number 74.

    'deserves credit'

    ? Uh?

    A group of middle aged white only businessmen who act as Judge. Jury and Prosecution in all things F.A. related deserve credit?!

    A group of men who could have prosecuted john terry months ago according to the Crown Prosecution Service, but chose to sit on their fat bloated rears instead deserve credit?!

    I've seen some cringingly poor articles by journo's in my time, but this is a peach......and deserves credit for being so!

  • Comment number 75.

    Bernstein has the same autocratic attitude as Blatter, his management technique is awful, his communication skills stem from the fact he believes his own PR. The fact that he did not liaise with Capello before making his sweeping statement has left the FA wide open for a claim by the former England manager, (yet more wasted money by the FA). Capello, though not the best of consultative managers himself, deserved to be consulted and the fact that he was not made his job un-tenuous.

  • Comment number 76.

    Have to chuckle at all those saying how Capello has been the only one to act with integrity. Appearing on TV to openly criticise your employer is not honourable. If he felt so strongly he should just have resigned without causing so much fuss. If anyone engineered this position it would appear to be Capello. The FA's authority to remove a player based on exceptional grounds was known to Capello a long time ago. Capello certainly had no principles about the nature of the accusations against Terry. He should have shown better judgement, and so should Terry, who should now withdraw from the squad altogether.

    Capello did not warm to England as a country, didn't learn the language properly, and disdn't show due respect to his employers. His England reign has been typified by selfishness, bad humour and an atmosphere of fear among the players.

    Timimg not great, but better now, for all sorts of reasons, than after another soul-destroying major tournament.

  • Comment number 77.

    With all the posts on this subject Rupert P Matley sums up the situation with a clarity even the press could not deny.

    What interest me is the suitable racist undertone to the "SACKING" of Capello and the rather hypocritical stance of the FA.

    The FA Chairman/board sacked the captain who is subject a racist trial but have not sacked the countless adulterers, drug cheats and tax dodgers (potential). I appears that Mr Bernsteins moral compass works on a sporadic basis.

    As for Capello he is or was one of the best coaches in the World and proven winner. It highlights to me that the real problem is the players. The hype around Rooney etc is totally unjustified. England have had a number of top class coaches (MacLaren excluded) and continued to fail. The main constant is the players. Time for a complete overhaul.

    However as a Scottish supporter I believe the FA, press and the players are only interested in perception and not being WINNERS similar with the Old Firm here. Until there is complete overhaul of the premiership and players become accountable as well as managers we will be doused in this garbage in August and for future years.

    Mind you I think many England fans want the national side to be laughing stock and have sub-standard managers/players wearing the shirt.

    One final point when a board of non experienced football people get involved in team affairs then the position of the manager becomes untennable regardless of the clauses in his Contract. The FA forced Capello out ensuring they would not have to pay any compensation.

    A true lack of unprofessionalism and sculldugery. English football should be ashamed of itself!!!!!

  • Comment number 78.

    The FA was right , it was and would have been a dilemma to have the England captain on charges of racism and the uncertainty around that when there are black players in the England team and when his defensive partner's brother was the victim . That said the process for removing Terry from the captaincy should have been inclusive with Capello so that both sides could clearly express and listen to each others opinions and the justification for removing Terry as captain .

    Speaking personally the attitude of John Terry is not that of an honourable man , given he faces a serious charge of racism against the brother of his England playing partner it would have been the right and noble thing to stand down not only as captain of England but also as a player until the court case was heard and he had the chance to clear his name . I cannot imagine the England camp being a happy place with Terry in it , there are black players in the England team and of course Ferdinand . The situation is similar to that with Wayne Bridge , when Terry , his supposedly best friend was sleeping with Bridge's wife , that also would have been disruptive to the England team would certainly have eroded any respect other England players had for their captain . Terrys actions at that time also was one of someone who doesnt know the meaning of the word honourable . He had to be stripped of the captaincy then .

    One last footnote , I dont think Terry is good enough material for England as a player or captain . He was woeful during the world cup and made some terrible defensive mistakes and he fell a long way short of the sort of captain I would like to see leading England , ie leading from the front , rallying team mates , managing the back line and setting the standard for everyone else .

    As regards Harry Rednapp , it annoys me that everyone says how Harry is innocent of all charges ...... hmmm i think it would be more accurate to report that Harry Rednapp was not convicted because the CPS couldnt make a case beyond reasonable doubt that he was involved in tax evasion . The jury swallowed the rather weak excuse that it was some kind of a loan , despite the fact it was a Monaco bank account and in a dogs name .......

    With the Terry situation , Rednapp , players wages , lack of honourable standards is it any surprise many people are sick of ' the beautiful game ' .

  • Comment number 79.


    Capello tried to bring back discipline to the team. just because he had a manner that wasn't bubbly or outgoing does not mean he didn't warm to the country and it didn't make him bad at his job - best win rate of all england managers points to that

    torrid world cup but as much the players fault as capello's - a learning curve for him as a manager and he turned it round with a competent qualifying campaign

    appearing to openly criticise your employer may not be honourable but it was honest and based on his principles, whereas the FA went totally over Capello's head in their decision and consulted him afterwards

  • Comment number 80.

    Bernstein has sent a clear message to any prospective England manager that the FA can and will make executive decisions that overrule him and will interfere with his team selection if they want to, regardless of how respected in the game that manager might be.
    Anyone considering the job will take this into account and will probably choose to stay at a club where they are free to do their job without the English media on their backs and without being hamstrung by non-football executives.
    The way this should have been dealt with would have ideally been for Terry to have made himself unavailable for selection until after the tournament. That's where pressure should have been exerted rather than undermining Capello.

  • Comment number 81.


    The FA was right , it was and would have been a dilemma to have the England captain on charges of racism and the uncertainty around that when there are black players in the England team ...

    --> then why not remove him from the team entirely??? whether he is captain or not makes no difference at all, they should have dealt with it indefinately 3 months ago by suspending him pending the outcome to the legal decision or take the stance innocent until guilty

    not saying I like JT as a person, player, or captain of England - in my view he isn't good enought anyway

  • Comment number 82.

    A few thoughts:
    It's hard not to believe that Bernstein didn't realize Capello would resign. The decision undermined Capello's position.
    Bernstein's principles are flexible and he initially looked for an easy way out: why didn't he strip Terry of the captaincy when criminal proceedings were first announced; he hoped the court would take the decision for him.
    If Terry should not be captain, why should he even be allowed to play?
    If Terry is acquitted the FA will look bad and Capello will have been vindicated.
    Too bad Terry doesn't have more integrity - he should have resigned the Captaincy until the case was heard. It would not have implied guilt but recognized it was not good for the issue to be hanging over the England captain. He would have gained credit with a lot of people and maybe even the jury.
    Capello should have made the decision. His claim that we should wait for the court to decide strikes me that he wanted Terry as captain come hell or high water. I'm not sure why he sacked Terry over the Wayne Bridge affair but saw this differently.

    All in all, and in hindsight, this was handled badly by all concerned. But the FA handled it the worst. They cost us the best manager England has had for some time (judging percentage of games won).

    Capello probably comes out of this the best as he will be seen as standing by his players and not taking rubbish from the men in suits.

    Of course, if England win in the summer who will care about all this? But then again, do pigs fly?

  • Comment number 83.


    This is a complete and utter load of rubbish. The FA spend 1.5 million to pay off Capellos contract when he was the best man for the job, 4 months before a big tournament whilst the england captaincy has been taken from the best leader in the managers eyes over something that has neither here nor there been proven.

    They could and should have consulted Fabio. They didn't. They should have dropped the captaincy months ago from Terry. They didn't. They should have investigated it like they did with Suarez, they didn't. Starting to see the picture. I shall continue. They could have told capello that he didnt have to agree but they werent going to allow him out of his contract. They didn't.

    So now were 4 months away from a tournament that we had the possibility (albeit slim) of doing well and yet now we dont even seem to have any idea which way is up. Replace a world class manager with a manager with one trophy to his name who has left every club he's been at introuble two days after he was on trial for fraud (silly FA and theyre hypocritic ways) sounds exactly like the stupidness of this country.

    Bernstein is an accountant not a football manager, leave the decisions to the manager or consult him 1st. Every other country has been laughing at yet another fine mess the FA have put us in but our stupid journalists jump on the Harry bandwagon. Well done Capello for your head being held high.

    P.S didnt spains entire squad get reprimanded for racism along with their manager 4 years back and yetthey didnt do the FA's farce they got on with it and now have a succesful team winning every honour.

  • Comment number 84.

    I feel like I am in an alternate universe. At the very least consult your manager if you intend to strip a player of the captaincy. Capello's record speaks for itself. A huge factor in the World Cup was fatigue after a long English season and the criminal failure from grassroots level up to develop a credible pool of world class strikers. The FA is, and continues to be, more like the Keystone Cops in their approach to serious organisational weaknesses and a poor grasp of PR. There appears to be a healthy streak of xenophobia bubbling under the surface too.

  • Comment number 85.

    #3, #5, #6 and #11 Agree 100%

    It really is about time some of these BBC journo's did some invetigating and reporting rather than just regurgitating the same old stuff and apparentl;y taking things at face value.

    What has gone on behind the scenes? Why didn't the FA do anything about John Terry when the allagations first surfaced or when he was first charged? Why ahevn't the FA tried to suggest Chelsea suspend him also? (I'm not suggesting they should, but has the question been asked?)

    Disappointing content that no-one reading appears to agree with.

    Same when we're listening to the games's so-called experts on 5Live or talkSPORT. Who actually agrees with them?

  • Comment number 86.

    Going slightly off topic, Stoke City chairman and FA Councillor Peter Coates on one of the topic of Capello's lack of English speaking skills:

    '"I would never have a manager who had not had exposure to the English game. It has been proved that it doesn't work.''

    Mourinho didn't have exposure to the English game before he arrived at Chelsea. Under him, they won their first league title in 50 years, and won it again the following season.

    If people on the FA can't be bothered to do the most basic research before opening their mouths, is it any wonder that they're subject to so much ridicule?

  • Comment number 87.

    ps Whilst my typing skills and English aren't perfect (that should have read '.....on the topic of Capello's lack of English speaking skills'), Capello's and many other foreign managers' English is not much worse (and in some cases, considerably better) than Redknapp's, not that I think it's a barrier to becoming England manager, just making the point.

  • Comment number 88.

    #86 + 87

    exactly - Harry admitted his writing skills and English were nion pathetic in his recent trial

    and to say "proved that it doesn't work" Capello has the best % win rate!

    Look at what bobby robson and el tel did in their first tournament in charge - and sir clive woodward - all disappointing!

  • Comment number 89.

    Silly me! I forgot to mention Messrs. Wenger (Three league titles, including two doubles and an entire season unbeaten, but being an Arsenal fan, I'd only be accused of bias) and, whilst we're talking Italian (in the words of Bananarama), Ancelotti - neither of whom had any previous experience of managing in England before their successes.

  • Comment number 90.

    It seems its not only BBC Sport Journos that are capable of spouting drivel - I've just seen the inane rantings of Peter Coates. Yet another Club Chairman who confuses having money with having a genuine knowledge and appreciation of the game of football.

  • Comment number 91.

    @73 Keith95a

    It could easily be counter argued that Capello put the FA in an 'untenable position' by not stripping Terry of the captaincy... the difference is that the FA a)had the power and b) took the steps; to do something about it.

    Yes Capello's position was then untenable and it was mostly of his own creation for bleating to the media after the decision was made. Had he of backed it publically and been annoyed privately no one would have been any-the-wiser. He was leaving the job in a matter of months anyway...

    Capello was wholly inconsistent... he felt it was right and proper to strip Terry of the captaincy for allegedly sleeping around, but when it's racism that's alleged, it's okay? Ludicrous stance to take.

  • Comment number 92.

    Totally agree #90. You just can't make some of this stuff up. Coates is the first Councillor to put his head over the parapet and what he says is very revealing as to the FA's opinion of Capello. Shocking, appalling, infuriating! No doubt if there is a mistake to be made in the new appointment, they will make it.

  • Comment number 93.

    At least one guys gets it, read Peter Staunton piece "Fabio Capello has gone because he couldn't care less about public perception while the FA sways in the wind" ...sums it up pretty well.

    One central FACT is indefensible -
    - FA were happy for Terry to be captain until the delay of court case occurred
    - when it occurred, they removed Terry WITHOUT CONSULTING CAPELLO ...their statement clearly says they 'informed him by phone' ( he was out the country!)

    What was the rush to removed Terry while Capello was out the country for day? ..Why not wait 24hours for you manager to return to UK, and hash it out in a meeting like any competent management?

    The only possible to conclusion ...they wanted to undermine Capello and force a crises, and as Peter Staunton points out, they hired Capello to be a strong leader, not a yes man, so they knew he would most likely resign.

    Also, its quite hilarious that every England manager is blamed for the perceived failure of the team in World cups. England are not a top world team, good enough to qualify, which Capello has done better than previous managers, but NOT good enough to win , or beats the tops teams.

    How many times have we lost to Germany in a world cup? ..SA was no different ..and 'arry won't be able to perform miracles either.

    Only way we will do better is if FA organized for players to be more rested, which they never have , and produced the grass roots move to technical skills and creativety rather than physicality which FIFA have basically outlawed with changes to tackling laws over last 30 years.

    If FA want to take a moral stand to help English football, how about taking on FIFA over their refusal to use video replays to stop the constant diving which has turned football from a 'mans game' into a 'wailing bunch of drama queens' ?

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    lol, not sure what part of my post broke this house rule:

    Break the law or condone or encourage unlawful activity. This includes breach of copyright, defamation and contempt of court short im on the side of the fa but they should of a acted sooner.

  • Comment number 96.

    The only thing Bernstein deserves credit for is engineering the departure of Capello. I know, I know... he has the best stats, win-rate, etc... but, c'mon... we all fancied a change, didn't we?

  • Comment number 97.

    As usual the FA are still in the dark ages and do not have a clue or connect with the fans. This was a convenient way to get rid of Capello who is one of the most sucessful managers in recent football history. We had a chance to win this tournament and now we may as well forget it. What have the FA people who make these decisions ever achieved in football? Suggest we all find something else to do in the summer as the FA have made sure it is not worth watching.

  • Comment number 98.

    So he deserves credit for leaving us in complete disarray, without a captain and manager, just 4 months before a major tournament?

  • Comment number 99.

    "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."


    Principled stand, my jacksy.

    Puerile anti-Blatter sour grapes, following England's risible two-vote performance in the bidding for the 2018 World Cup.

    Talk about not letting the truth get in the way of a good story?

  • Comment number 100.

    John Terry should be afforded the same rights as everyone else including the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. No one has the authority to infer special legal status on the captain of a football team or anyone else.

    Whether Terry is culpable for anything onerous has not been established and by taking the action they have the English FA have preempted due legal process. Their nation-wide media broadcasts have fatally damaged Terry's prospects of a fair trial. If your own employer fails to recognise fundamental legal principles, how can you expect anyone else to be fair with you?

    I think those in the FA who hatched this debacle should be prosecuted for interfering with proper legal process. I also think they should be ridiculed for their ineptitude, slated for their lack of respect for the position of England team manager, and sanctioned for failing to match Fabio Cappello's integrity. With friends like these, English football cetainly doesn't need any more enemies.

    Racism has to be exorcised from society but the English FA have conspired to subordinate the issue to something below who gets to wear an armband. I have to question how concerned they are with racism at all.


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