Fabio Capello's anger at 'Anglo-Saxon justice' dished out to John Terry
Some say it was on the cards, but few predicted the dramatic fashion in which Fabio Capello walked away from the England manager's job over the decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy.
Following an extraordinary day in English football, a temporary appointment will be announced today with Stuart Pearce, the England under-21s coach, and Sir Trevor Brooking, who already works for the governing body as director of football development, the two candidates, possibly with the two of them working in tandem. The FA claimed the parting of the ways had been amicable despite a major disagreement between the FA chairman, David Bernstein and Capello over the Italian's decision to go public with his disquiet over the FA's decision to demote Terry.
Quotes attributed to Capello on the Italpress news agency last night suggested he left Wembley nurturing a deep sense of injustice. The provenance of those quotes was later denied by Capello's lawyer son Pierfilippo and the FA.
The disputed quotes read: "They [the FA] really insulted me and damaged my authority. What really hit me and forced me to take this decision was the fact the much-vaunted Anglo-Saxon sense of justice, as they are the first to claim that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
"In Terry's case, they gravely offended me and damaged my authority at the head of the England side, effectively creating a problem for the squad. I have never tolerated certain crossing of lines, so it was easy for me to spot it and take my decision to leave."
Last night the 65-year-old Capello was already being linked with a lucrative move to Anzhi Makhachkala in Dagestan, in the Russian Federation. He left Wembley at 5.30pm following a meeting with Bernstein and Alex Horne, the FA general secretary. During that meeting, Capello refused to apologise for going public with his criticism of the FA in his interview with RAI, the Italian broadcaster on Sunday.
In a dramatic day, the FA did not announce his departure until 7.30pm. Although Harry Redknapp, cleared of tax evasion charges yesterday, is the obvious successor to Capello, the FA will announce an interim coach today for the friendly against the Netherlands on 29 February.
It is understood that Redknapp was last night considering his options. He recognises he owes a great debt of thanks to his club, Tottenham Hotspur, for their support during the tax case.
All Capello's Italian staff – Italo Galbiati, Massimo Negri and Franco Tancredi – also resigned their positions with the FA. The decision meant that the issue of whether compensation is payable – there is around £3m left on Capello's contract – is not yet clear.
His resignation revealed just how isolated Capello felt over the decision by Bernstein, which was rubber-stamped by the FA board, to take the captaincy away from Terry. It was made on Thursday and announced the following day. Capello was called by Bernstein on the Thursday night and informed the board that he "absolutely" disagreed with its decision on Terry.
On Sunday he gave an interview to RAI live from London in which he repeated his view that he "absolutely" disagreed with the decision. This caused enormous concern among the governing body, which felt that it represented a barefaced challenge to the FA from its most high-profile employee.
Bernstein told Capello yesterday that he could not accept the Italian criticising him and his employers so openly. With Capello refusing to back down on his view, he recognised there was no option for him but to resign.
The FA made the decision on Terry after the court date for him to face a charge of racial abuse was moved to 9 July, after the Euros. Capello had maintained all along that Terry should retain the captaincy on the principle of innocent until proved guilty.
The FA will announce the temporary appointment at Wembley this lunchtime at a press conference which Bernstein, Horne, Brooking will attend.
The FA statement said: "The discussions focused on the FA board's decision to remove the captaincy from John Terry, and Fabio Capello's response. In a meeting for over an hour, Fabio's resignation was accepted and he will leave the post of England manager."
Bernstein said: "I would like to stress that during today's meeting and throughout his time as England manager, Fabio has conducted himself in an extremely professional manner. We have accepted Fabio's resignation, agreeing this is the right decision. We would like to thank Fabio for his work with the England team and wish him every success in the future."
Capello's reign: Four years of Fabio
14 December Fabio Capello's appointment as England manager is confirmed by the FA, succeeding Steve McClaren.
6 February Italian's first match in charge sees goals by Jermaine Jenas and Shaun Wright-Phillips earn a 2-1 win over Switzerland in a friendly at Wembley.
10 September A hat-trick from Theo Walcott and a Wayne Rooney strike earn England a stunning 4-1 win over Croatia in Zagreb in a vital World Cup qualifier.
9 September A resounding 5-1 victory over Croatia at Wembley, England's eighth successive group win, books place at World Cup in South Africa.
5 February Capello strips John Terry of the England captaincy following allegations he had an affair with former team-mate Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend. Rio Ferdinand promoted to captain.
11 May Italian is forced to postpone his Capello Index – a player ratings website – until after the World Cup following an FA review.
2 June Capello agrees an amended contract with the FA, committing to England until after Euro 2012.
12-27 June Having got through the group stage of the World Cup, England are torn apart by Germany as they suffer a humiliating 4-1 defeat in the last 16.
2 July The FA confirms that Capello will remain in charge of the national team.
17 July The Italian demands that the Capello Index be removed from the internet after insisting he had not seen or approved of the controversial rankings.
3 September England beat Bulgaria 4-0 in their opening Euro 2012 qualifier and follow up with a 3-1 win in Switzerland.
17 November England beaten 2-1 by France in friendly at Wembley.
19 March Capello announces Terry has been restored as England captain.
26 March England beat Wales 2-0 in Euro 2012 qualifier in Cardiff.
4 June England battle back from two down to secure a 2-2 draw in a Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland at Wembley.
2 September After wins over Bulgaria and Wales, England move to within a point of reaching the Euro 2012 finals.
7 October Rooney is sent off in the final minutes of a 2-2 draw in Montenegro that clinches England's qualification for Euro 2012.
9 December Rooney's ban is reduced from three matches to two by Uefa following an FA appeal, leaving him available to play in England's final Euro 2012 group match in the summer against Ukraine.
3 February FA board strips Terry of England captaincy.
5 February Capello tells Italian television he disagrees with FA's decision to demote Terry.
Yesterday Resigns as manager.
P42, W28, D8, L6, Win% 66.67
Competitive ties 22, W15, D5, L2
England's leading managers
F Capello 42/28/8/6/66.7
A Ramsey 113/69/27/17/61.1
G Hoddle 28/17/6/5/60.7
R Greenwood 55/33/12/10/60
S G Eriksson 67/40/17/10/59.7
First match W 2-1 v Swit (Feb 08)
Last match W 1-0 v Sweden (Nov 11)
Most caps under Capello
35 Gareth Barry
33 Wayne Rooney
32 Ashley Cole
31 Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson
30 John Terry
England's 2012 schedule
29 Feb Netherlands (h, friendly)
26 May Norway (a, friendly)
2 June Belgium (h, friendly)
11 June France (n, Euro 2012 group)
15 June Sweden (n, Euro 2012)
19 June Ukraine (n, Euro 2012)
Leeds 'reject Eriksson offer'
Leeds United chairman Ken Bates claimed yesterday that although the former England coach Sven Goran Eriksson had applied for the manager's job at Elland Road, "he won't be coming".
Neil Redfearn, the caretaker manager since the sacking of Simon Grayson last week, will be in charge for the club's next three Championship games. Bates said: "We're in no hurry. The next appointment is a big appointment."