David Bernstein, the chairman of the Football Association, accepted yesterday that Fabio Capello's four-year tenure as England manager was expensive but denied it was a mistake.
The Italian was paid £6m a year to manage the national side – add in the cost of his coaching staff and the Capello era has cost the FA an estimated £40m in return for two successful qualifying campaigns and one disastrous World Cup finals two years ago. "We're never going to argue it wasn't expensive – but it wasn't a mistake," said Bernstein, who was not in charge of the FA when Capello was appointed.
Bernstein refused to give any details yesterday over whether Capello would be given a pay-off, saying it was a confidential matter. Once the FA had agreed to accept Capello's resignation, lawyers for the governing body and the Italian were called in to finalise a parting of ways
Bernstein also refused to be drawn as to whether the next manager would be paid a similar salary to Capello. He said: "Clearly there have been large amounts of money involved. We should pay a sensible amount of money for the right person but how that balances out we will have to see.
"Let me be absolutely clear: we are not going to do anything on the cheap. We will pay the proper market rate for the right person. We have to get the right person for the job."