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Sep 10, 2009

Capello in line for £5m bonus if England triumph

Fabio Capello stands to win a world record £5m bonus if he can land the World Cup for England in South Africa. • Harris: England still need Plan B
• Johnson: England reborn
• England 5-1 Croatia: Three Lions book finals place The biggest one-off payment to ever to be offered to a football manager, at international or club level, is part of the lucrative contract package that lured Capello to the FA. But England winning the World Cup is no guarantee that he won't cash in and move on. I can reveal that Capello's contract is only guaranteed until 2010, and there are only options, albeit on both sides, to extend until 2012 and the European Championship finals. There have been recent debates about Capello's future and whether he would he quit in 2010, but he answered those by stating he was fully committed to the FA and his contract. Although that contract specifies a full review after the World Cup finals, and either side could yet walk away. Indeed, if Capello did land the World Cup he would be offered three times as much as the FA could afford to switch to a club back in Italy, and might find that hard to resist. Naturally the Italian will make no decision, and indeed nor could the FA, until they all sit down to discuss this after the finals in South Africa. The reason is that there was a massive row behind the scenes about the extent of the FA's investment in Capello and his back room staff, amounting to a total of £40m if they ran their full distance of four and a half years. Hard to believe now, after the glorious qualification for the World Cup, but not everyone on the FA's Executive staff was in favour of the Capello appointment - although because of the costs involved and not over his credentials to take over from Steve McClaren. There is no doubt, though, that some on the FA will justify the caution they expressed at the time about the financial implications of Capello's appointment. Since then, the FA's deal with Setanta has collapsed, the running of Wembley is close to £90m in the first year, and E.On will not renew the lucrative FA Cup sponsorship, leaving a substantial black hole in their coffers, somewhat alleviated by the renewal of the Carling sponsorship deal. No one, though, will begrudge Capello his personal fortune from the FA, the way he has turned England's fortunes around, and indeed, also the mentality of the team. The Italian signed a contract with a starting salary of £4.8m annually, after tax, which meant £6m plus before tax. But there are massive built in bonuses and he will receive an extra £1m for England's success in qualifying for the World Cup finals. The FA agreed to pay Capello £2.5m if he leaves contract, but his four Italian assistants, including director of football Franco Baldini, would cost them a further £1.4m a year. The key issue for the dissenters, at the time of his appointment, was the record level of his salary, £6m-a-year compared to the £5.2m paid to Sven Goran Eriksson and the £2.5m to McClaren. As in evidence from the latter, an English option would have been far cheaper, and more acceptable to the vast number of those inside football who wanted an English coach. Now, few, if any, believe Capello was the wrong choice, or that he is not worth his inflated salary after getting England to the finals with two games to spare - but I can reveal that he will receive £1m for getting England to South Africa and an additional £2m if he guides them to the semi-finals. The semi-finals are the benchmark for the FA, as Sven Goran Eriksson managed three successive quarter-finals, while Steve McClaren failed to even qualify for the European Championships. Hence the FA were in generous mood when Capello came to negotiate his contract once Jose Mourinho headed off to Inter Milan instead. The really big one-off payout comes if Capello can be the first England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey to land the World Cup as he did back in 1966. Sir Bobby Robson came the closest with a semi-final penalty shootout defeat to the Germans at Italia '90, but it is thought England's chances in South Africa will be enhanced by English style weather conditions and Capello's meticulous organisation skills. The manager will certainly be a driven man.

• Harry Harris has twice won the British Sports Journalist of the Year award. His book Down Memory Lane is now available.
•  Harry writes in association with Football40
and Football Nights.

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