Capello: Leave the WAGs at home this time

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Wives only welcome one day a week in South Africa says manager on £2m bonus if England win the World Cup

Fabio Capello wiped out the Wag culture that surrounded England in Germany in 2006 at a stroke yesterday by banning the wives and girlfriends circus from South Africa next summer. The England manager laid down stringent rules for his players' families one day after his team qualified for the World Cup finals.

Click here or click the image to launch our guide to the 'circus' that was the 2006 World Cup.

The infamous Wags – wives and girlfriends – will only be able to visit their husbands or partners on the day after matches in South Africa. Capello said: "We are there to play, not for a holiday. The players will have one day with their family. It will be one day a week, after each game and that is enough. That's it. I like [the set-up] we have made here at training [at their hotel in Hertfordshire] where the players stay together."

As well as becoming only the second England manager to win a World Cup – and the first foreigner – it emerged yesterday that there is also a £2m bonus at stake for Capello. The 63-year-old has a basic salary of around £4m from the Football Association but he can boost that by £2m if he wins the World Cup with England, making him comfortably the highest-paid manager at the tournament.

Although not all the players' families were culpable in soaking up the attention of the paparazzi in Baden-Baden in 2006, the small south-western spa town near England's base, the actions of a few contributed to an aura that lacked professionalism. Asked whether it would be a circus again, Capello tutted loudly and replied: "No, absolutely not. Please. If they [Wags] do not want to come for the day, then they should stay at home."

The huge scale of South Africa, and the likely remoteness of England's training camp, will make it difficult for the families to set themselves up nearby. It is understood that some parents of England players are considering staying at home next summer because of the lack of an organised trip by the FA and fears about their personal security if they travel to South Africa independently.

Capello had told the FA that he wants it to wait until the draw in Cape Town in December before it makes a decision on where the squad will be based. There are a number of options, with the favourite being somewhere near the northern city of Rustenberg. In 2006 they stayed in the Schlosshotel Bühlerhöhe in the Black Forest near Baden-Baden, a former hospice for soldiers that had been refitted as a celebrity wedding venue.

Capello is understood to be dubious about the options that have been offered, to the extent that the pre-tournament preparation will take place in south-eastern Austria where the team can acclimatise to the altitude conditions they may face in South Africa. Sven Goran Eriksson, the last manager to take England to a major tournament, permitted his players' families to join them in Portugal for their pre-tournament preparation in 2006.

In Germany, the FA facilitated a trip for the players' families to stay in the Brenner's Park Hotel, Baden-Baden's most opulent hotel. The mix of the massed ranks of paparazzi camped outside, as well as the England press pack staying in the hotel, made for a feverish atmosphere.

Capello returned to Italy yesterday with his wife Laura and may call in at the Italian grand prix at Monza on Sunday. Laura Capello was at Wembley on Wednesday night but it is rare for his sons Eduardo and Pierfilippo to attend games. Pierfilippo, who helped negotiate his father's contract with the FA, is a senior lawyer specialising in sport at a Milan practice.

The players' bonuses for the World Cup finals have not yet been set. The players' pool is administered by 1966, an independent company, who set up a separate pool for the 23 players named in the World Cup squad and divide bonuses according to games played. They usually negotiate a percentage share of the money earned from the FA's key sponsors.

"We have made the first step and now we go to South Africa," Capello said. "But we have to work a lot because to win the World Cup finals would be a really strong moment. It's different when you go to the World Cup because you have to win the first round and that is the worst moment of the tournament. We have a good team and are playing very well but we have to stay with our feet on the floor."

Baden-Baden revisited: WAGs with an appetite for distraction

They came, they saw, they shopped, drank champagne and danced on tables. The German spa town of Baden-Baden was once famous for the restorative power of its waters and a funicular railway. Now it will always be synonymous with the WAGs of England's 2006 World Cup squad.

Players were allowed to take official FA cars from their castle base in the Black Forest to visit wives, family and children in the Brenner's Park hotel. Sven Goran Eriksson's partner Nancy Dell'Olio was one of the WAGs' leading lights.

Many players have since expressed regret at the way in which the WAG circus was allowed to develop. If it had not been for Capello they might have banned their other halves themselves.

Sam Wallace

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home