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By ESPN Staff
Mar 29, 2011

FA admit Capello contract mistake

Football Association general secretary Alex Horne has revealed former chairman Lord Triesman failed to discuss changes to Fabio Capello's contract as England manager with the organisation's whole board.

• FA: We need to control costs

The FA controversially removed an exit clause in Capello's four-year deal shortly before last year's World Cup, a decision Horne admitted should have been referred to the board.

Instead, it was taken by a handful of executives, including Lord Triesman, who was forced to resign as independent chairman soon after following an unrelated tabloid sting.

''I'll hold my hands up on behalf of David Triesman and say, in hindsight, it was a whole board decision and should have gone to the whole board,'' Horne told a Department of Culture Media and Sport committee inquiry into football governance. ''It did not go to the whole board.''

Horne refused to identify the other executives involved in the decision but admitted at least some of them were still at the FA.

''I'm not comfortable sitting here naming four or five people,'' he said. ''The decision has been reviewed internally and we hold our hands up to a corporate governance mistake.

''David was the senior member involved as chairman of the association and clearly felt he had the authority to make that commitment. It was only after he left that the board questioned the decision.''

Lord Triesman's successor, David Bernstein, vowed the situation would never be allowed to arise again.

''While I'm chairman, it won't happen again,'' he said. ''I would ensure that proper governance is in place for those things.''

Despite acknowledging the process of amending Capello's contract was inappropriate, Horne insisted those involved came to the right decision, despite England's dismal World Cup display.

''There was a contract through to 2012 for four years,'' he said. ''Within that contract was a clause allowing either party to terminate for an amount of liquidated damages. We were coming under a lot of pressure in the run-up to the World Cup for certainty over whether Fabio was staying or not. There was speculation about clubs coming in for Fabio.''

He added: ''Having qualified top of the group very comfortably, facing that uncertainty going into the tournament, it was exactly the right thing to do.''

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