Capello set to survive as FA look long-term

FABIO CAPELLO looks set to survive as England coach despite the team’s World Cup failure with FA chiefs instead being urged to invest in a long-term plan for success.

Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman who also heads the new ‘Club England’, will spend the next couple of weeks taking stock of the situation before making a recommendation to the FA board.

The chances of Capello being sacked look to be receding by the day however. It is understood that Trevor Brooking, the FA’s director of football development and a key figure in the process, will recommend that Capello is kept on for the rest of his contract until 2012. Brooking’s view is that replacing him with another manager will not solve the underlying problem with English football, and a number of FA board and international committee members are also of the same opinion.

At the FA’s post mortem of the World Cup fiasco, Brooking will argue for a properly-funded long-term masterplan to bring through young players, starting by increasing the number of coaches at youth level.

Capello’s 10 years’ experience working at AC Milan’s academy during the 1980s also adds weight to the argument for him to stay as he could have a major input into the future development of young players.

Some FA figures believe the £9million that would be saved by not firing Capello and employing a replacement on a similar salary level would be a good start in terms of funding youth development.

The remaining two years on Capello’s contract would also give Stuart Pearce more experience both at U21 level and as the Italian’s assistant, and grooming him to be a ready-made replacement in 2012.

The FA’s post mortem will also include a big debate on the future of youth football. The Professional Game Youth Development Group, set up in 2008 following a review by Richard Lewis and headed by Howard Wilkinson, was disbanded after just one year by the Football League and Premier League. Amazingly, since then there has been no decision-making body in control of youth development in English football.

It would be almost impossible to impose the much-touted Bundesliga model on Premier League clubs, but it will be made clear to FA chiefs how Germany reacted to their failure at Euro 2000 by completely shaking up their youth development system, and how they have reaped the rewards with their young team at this World Cup.

Richard Caborn, the former sports minister who forced through the Burns review of the FA, said sacking Capello would solve nothing.

Caborn said: “We can’t just deal with the symptoms, we have to get to the root of the problem.

“English football and the Premier League have to come together to develop young English players.

“Fabio Capello is one of the best coaches in the world and if the FA replace him then it is just papering over the cracks and the same problem will come up again.”


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