Capello given assurances over Barwick's departure

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The Independent Football

Fabio Capello has been reassured by the Football Association that the departure of chief executive Brian Barwick is, according to one source, a "business decision" which will not affect the Italian's role as England's manager.

Although surprised by the suddenness of the announcement, Capello has not sought reassurances about what will happen after Barwick was forced to stand down. But discussions took place within the FA headquarters yesterday, at the organisation's instigation, about where the FA goes from here. After Barwick's abrupt departure was announced, Capello said: "My reaction is that it's not my job. It's a decision of the board. When the board makes a decision, it's their decision."

It was Barwick and his lieutenant, Simon Johnson, who recruited Capello to succeed the hapless Steve McClaren last December and now both men appear to be on their way out of the FA. Johnson, the director of corporate affairs, has been sidelined and his prospective job, as chief operating officer for England's 2018 World Cup bid, has been advertised.

The changes have been instigated by Lord Triesman, who was appointed the FA's full-time independent chairman last January, and has undertaken a comprehensive review of the organisation. The former Government minister has already appointed Alex Horne, the former head of Wembley, as the chief operating officer.

Horne's remit covers a large part of Barwick's responsibilities and it may be that his role is enhanced further, in tandem with Triesman, although the FA have still to make a final decision on how they are to re-organise themselves.

It appears that as Triesman carries out his changes Barwick, who officially leaves the FA at the end of the year, may also be followed out of the organisation by the director of communications, Adrian Bevington. He has been with the FA since 1997 and has held his current post for the past three years but is not prepared to accept a reduction in his role as part of the changes.

Yesterday Barwick admitted he was sad to leave. "It's very sad to leave the Football Association, it's been absolute privilege to lead it," he said. "I step down as of 31 December. It's a remarkable place full of remarkable people and in a way I have had a remarkable time.

"I'm proud to have been in charge, I'm a huge football person in terms of my love for the game and for me to have been the chief executive of the Football Association was a very special thing."