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By ESPN Staff
Dec 15, 2007

Sir Dave bemused at rushed announcement

Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards - a member of the Football Association board - has criticised the 'bizarre' way in which the appointment of Fabio Capello as England manager was rushed through.

Capello was identified as the number one candidate once Jose Mourinho ruled himself out of the running last weekend.

On Wednesday the FA confirmed they had held discussions with the Italian and the former AC Milan manager's four-and-a-half-year contract was signed yesterday.

Richards, while not objecting to the appointment, has criticised the speed at which negotiations took place.

Reports suggest he - and Lord Mawhinney, chairman of the Football League and the Professional Game Board - refused to take part in Thursday's conference call to approve Capello and Richards has made his feelings clear to the governing body.

'I'm not happy with what's gone on and have told the FA,' he told the Daily Mail. 'What was all the rush about? It was totally unnecessary to contact everybody by phone on Thursday when the contracts weren't finalised until the following afternoon.

'This level of business should not be done over the phone. It needs a face-to-face discussion. No one's objecting to Capello - far from it. But it would have made so much more sense to call a board meeting for today, tomorrow or Monday.

'England don't play their next game until February 6, so why the need to do everything in such a mad hurry? It's bizarre. We have the next scheduled board meeting on Thursday, so it wasn't as if there was nothing in the diary.

'Decisions of this magnitude should be made at a board meeting in the right way, so all the detail can be discussed in a calm orderly manner. This is a very important appointment, involving a lot of money and personnel, that should be arrived at via a rigorously proper process.

'I regard myself as a custodian of the game who tries to do his best for the game. If that means walking out of meetings or objecting to conference calls about the England manager's job, then I'll do it.'