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UK Politics

Former FA chief Adam Crozier questions Capello contract

Former Football Association chief executive Adam Crozier today spoke out against the decision to renew Fabio Capello's contract on the eve of this summer's World Cup.

The England manager signed an amended deal removing a break clause that would have allowed Capello to leave after the tournament, instead committing him to the post until after the 2012 European Championships.

The decision has been questioned following England's poor performance in South Africa, and Mr Crozier told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he would not have taken such action.

Asked if the same thing would have happened on his watch, Mr Crozier replied: "I don't think so.

"I think we were very careful for example with Sven (Goran Eriksson, former manager)...that we created clear breaks in his contract that would have allowed a parting in and around tournaments, because the truth is you don't know what's going to happen in a tournament before you go into it.

"You can only tell afterwards - as we saw in the World Cup this year."

While insisting that Capello remains a "world-class coach", Mr Crozier pointed out the differences between club and national team management - particularly a lack of time with players.

"It would sound as though, listening to the mood music coming from the England camp, that the message isn't getting across as clearly as it should be," he added.

Mr Crozier, who spent two and a half years as FA chief executive from 2000 and now holds the same position with ITV, also said the FA was "not having a great time" at present.

The basic problem was a "massive conflict of interest", he told Today, adding: "Really what the FA needs is more independence to take decisions for the good of the game as a whole - and that's not a criticism of any of the individuals."