In July 2012, the Russian Football Union signed Fabio Capello to be manager of the Russian national team. In January 2014, the RFU gave Capello an extension to be the highest paid international manager in the world ($11 million per year). He’s getting more than twice as much money as the next highest paid manager, Roy Hodgson. I could write a book explaining how Roy Hodgson shouldn’t even be close to being the second highest paid international manager in the world but let’s stick with Capello and Russia for now. Anyway, a member of the Executive Committee in the RFU revealed that they cannot afford Capello’s staggering salary and haven’t paid him since June.
It’s no secret what is going on in Russia. The RFU offered Capello all of this money and had wild expectations that he was going to somehow win the World Cup and once they got knocked out in the Group Stage of the World Cup, the money all of a sudden dried up. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but when the World Cup takes place in June and the RFU hasn’t paid Capello since June, doesn’t take much to add 2 and 2 together and assume that the RFU wasn’t pleased about the performance in the World Cup and are refusing to pay Capello.
The RFU now says that they new want Capello’s pay to be performance based. Well that’s nice of them to want that 9 months into a 4 year contract. Look, Russia breezed through World Cup qualification so technically, the contract extension was based on performance. What the RFU didn’t realize (or didn’t want to realize) was that they got into the World Cup based on geography and that it’s tough to beat Russia in Russia. They also underperformed in the World Cup based on geography. The teams get tougher when Russia has to play in tropical, humid weather halfway around the world.
Here’s a tip for the RFU. Don’t give your manager (or any manager) an eight figure, multi year contract based on 10 games and then refuse to pay any of that based on 3 games. On the other end, I can’t be shocked that Russia is now backtracking on an agreed to deal and is practicing shady business tactics. I mean, they are hosting the 2018 World Cup. So hopefully Capello at least questioned whether or not the deal was too good to be true before he signed the extension.