Former England manager Terry Venables warned yesterday that the Football Association can't afford to waste time in appointing Fabio Capello's successor and predicted that if the new man is English he would not be paid the £6m the Italian earned.
The former England internationals Gary Neville and Bryan Robson, who have 175 caps between them, also called for the FA to pursue the appointment process quickly. It has emerged this week that Stuart Pearce, the caretaker manager for the friendly against the Netherlands last month, continues to work on the basis that he could be asked to lead the team at Euro 2012.
There has been no contact made yet with Harry Redknapp, the favourite for the job. The FA general secretary Alex Horne said last month the appointment process would begin at "the back end of the season". With 44 days to go until the end of the domestic season on 13 May, Redknapp's Tottenham are in the FA Cup semi-finals and challenging for the Champions League places, begging the question of when a suitable time would be for the FA to make a move.
In the last week, the FA have announced the search for a new technical director and a delegation has been to Brazil to look at potential bases for the World Cup there in four years' time, providing England qualify. The organisation remains privately confident its plan to appoint a new manager allows it enough time to get the right man.
Speaking at the Soccerex European forum in Manchester, Venables said the new manager would benefit from sizing up his task this summer as soon as possible. He said: "The more time you can get in that the better. There's nothing for you doing it off cold. You need everything in your favour because this is a big job.
"They have to get someone in there straight away to do something about it. I don't see any benefit at all in coming in at the last moment with a rah-rah-rah. He's got to know those players not just from what he has seen but how they talk and what they feel is important, really getting into the individuals. The cogs have got to be strong to make that chain strong [sic]."
The feeling at the FA is that it makes no difference appointing a manager now instead of May given that there are no internationals between now and 26 May and, in the case of Redknapp, for instance, there is no chance he would leave Tottenham before the end of the season.
Venables, who was in charge of England at Euro 1996, said that the £6m annual salary paid to Capello was "ridiculous". He said: "I bet an Englishman won't get that. I can't get to grips with that [foreign England managers], I never have.
"You can go for anyone in the world for the Champions League and Premier League. But internationally it's like what went on in wars – you can't trade generals, you have to go for your own. Spain and Germany always go for their own. I would rather lose with our own people."
Neville sympathised with the FA's position but said that the "vultures are circling" and hinted at the potential for friction between John Terry and Rio Ferdinand. He said: "There's something brewing at the moment. There are situations still not being dealt with. There are player situations going into the tournament, there are manager situations and it [Euro 2012] is going to come pretty quickly. It's April next week. There's manager, there's player, there's captain, there's [the Terry] court case, it's not going to go away."