FABIO Capello last night dramatically resigned as England manager over the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy.
In an extraordinary day in English football, a temporary appointment will be announced today with Sir Trevor Brooking, who already works for the governing body as director of football development, and Stuart Pearce the two candidates, possibly with the two of them working in tandem.
Capello left Wembley at 5.30pm following a meeting with the FA chairman David Bernstein in which the Italian was unable to put aside his differences with the governing body. The FA did not announce his departure until 7.30pm. Although Harry Redknapp, cleared of tax evasion charges yesterday, is the obvious successor to Capello, an interim coach will be appointed for the friendly against the Netherlands on 29 February.
It is understood that Redknapp was last night considering his options as to whether he wanted the job. He recognises that he owes a great debt of thanks to Spurs for their support during the tax evasion case.
All Capello's Italian staff - Italo Galbiati, Massimo Negri and Franco Tancredi - also resigned their positions with the FA. The decision meant that the issue of whether compensation is payable - there is around (pounds sterling)3m left on Capello's contract - is not yet clear.
His resignation revealed just how isolated Capello felt over the decision by Bernstein, and then rubber-stamped by the FA board, to take the captaincy away from Terry. It was made on Thursday and announced the following day. Capello was called to be told on the Thursday night and informed the board he "absolutely" disagreed with its decision on Terry.
On Sunday he gave an interview to RAI, the Italian broadcaster live from London in which he repeated his view that he "absolutely" disagreed with the decision by the FA. This caused enormous disquiet among the governing body, which felt it represented a barefaced challenge to the FA from its most high-profile employee.
Bernstein told Capello yesterday that he could not accept the Italian criticising him and his employers so openly. With Capello refusing to back down on his view that he had been undermined by his employer, the Italian recognised there was no option for him but to resign.
The FA made the decision on Terry after the court date for his racial abuse charge was moved to 9 July after the European Championship, meaning that he would go into the tournament with his name still not cleared. Capello had maintained all along that Terry should retain the captaincy on the basis that he should be treated on the principle of innocent until proved guilty.
The FA will announce the temporary appointment at a press conference at Wembley this lunchtime. It said in a statement yesterday that the FA general secretary, Alex Horne, was also present at the meeting.
The FA said: "The discussions focused on the FA board's decision to remove the England team captaincy from John Terry, and Fabio Capello's response through an Italian broadcast interview. In a meeting for over an hour, Fabio's resignation was accepted and he will leave the post of England manager with immediate effect."
Bernstein said: "I would like to stress that during today's meeting and throughout his time as England manager, Fabio has conducted himself in an extremely professional manner. We have accepted Fabio's resignation, agreeing this is the right decision. We would like to thank Fabio for his work with the England team and wish him every success in the future."
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