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Page last updated at 19:33 GMT, Sunday, 20 June 2010 20:33 UK

FA expects Capello to quit if England make early exit

Fabio Capello
Capello is contracted to the FA up until the 2012 European Championships

By David Bond
BBC Sports Editor in Rustenburg

The Football Association anticipates England coach Fabio Capello will resign if his team make their World Cup exit on Wednesday, BBC Sport understands.

The FA is refusing to publicly discuss the possibility of the team's elimination at the group stage.

But, privately, senior figures admit they are considering their next move if England crash out against Slovenia.

This is a remarkable turn of events given the FA renegotiated Capello's four-year contract only on 2 June.

The FA removed a break clause from the Italian's four-year deal that would have allowed it to avoid paying him hefty compensation in the event it wanted to sack him.

Despite now discussing the possibility of Capello's exit, the FA's hierarchy says it remains firmly behind him going into Wednesday's crunch match against Slovenia.

Speaking on Sunday morning, Adrian Bevington, managing director of Club England at the FA, told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek: "Nothing has changed as far as we're concerned.

John Terry news conference in full

"I don't want to sit here discussing the manager's contract, or anyone's contract for that matter, in the middle of the World Cup.

"That was the whole reason we very publicly announced the situation [about Capello's contract amendment] while we were in Austria.

"All we're focused on is trying to get a result on Wednesday, to get through to the next round and go forward from there."

In fact, there is a feeling among senior figures that the players, who held clear-the-air talks with Capello on Sunday, should shoulder the greater share of the blame for the lacklustre display against Algeria on Friday and the frustrating opening draw against the United States.

The FA is also concerned about apparent splits between groups of players in Capello's squad, believing that to be of more concern than any disquiet in the squad about his style and tough regime.

The issue of Capello's future would ultimately be a decision for the FA's board - who currently remain fully supportive of the manager.

And even if his England side become the first since 1958 to be knocked out at the group stage, there is believed to be a reluctance to fire him.

There are two reasons for this. The first is the difficulty of hiring another top-class manager.

England have a friendly against Hungary at Wembley on 11 August and their first Euro 2012 qualifying clash against Bulgaria on 3 September.

Mancunian Red

They fear they would have very little time to hire a new coach in time for those matches.

And, while sources insist they are not considering the financial implications of any decision to remove Capello, the cost could be in the region of £10m, or two years' salary.

They know they would face accusations of wasting money so soon after the huge compensation pay-outs to Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren.

The FA removed a break clause, which would have allowed them to sack the 65-year-old for far less, a day before the team flew to South Africa.

The FA knows it will face intense criticism over that decision to take away that insurance policy if everything goes wrong for England on Wednesday.

Following the disappointing 0-0 draw with Algeria, Capello himself refused to rule out the possibility he would quit if England fly home from this World Cup earlier than expected.

The FA believes he is such an honourable and honest man that such a humiliating exit would force him to consider his position.

But a source close to Capello told the BBC on Sunday that he was not the sort of person to quit if things start going wrong.

England's elimination from the World Cup would be the latest blow to the FA after a dreadful six months that has seen John Terry forced to quit as national team captain following allegations about his private life and the departures of chief executive Ian Watmore and chairman Lord David Triesman.

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see also
England hold clear-the-air talks
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England display confuses Capello
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Gerrard calls for fighting spirit
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How England can qualify
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello commits future to England
02 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello commits future to England
15 May 10 |  Football