Football Association general secretary Alex Horne has admitted former chairman Lord Triesman "made a mistake" in failing to discuss changes to Fabio Capello's contract as England manager with the organisation's whole board.
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 Triesman, who was forced to resign as independent chairman following an unrelated tabloid sting before the amended contract was actually signed.
Horne, who was acting chief executive at the time, told a Department of Culture Media and Sport committee inquiry into football governance: "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. It did not go to the whole board."
After the hearing, Horne added: "He made a mistake."
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 (Lord Triesman) 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."
The move had been taken to ward off interest from top Italian clubs at a time when Capello was still basking in the glory of a virtually impeccable qualifying campaign, with hopes high of a tilt at the ultimate prize in South Africa.
Unfortunately for England, it did not turn out that way and the FA spent almost a week deliberating Capello's future following a calamitous 4-1 defeat to Germany in Bloemfontein. Eventually they chose to retain Capello's services amid suggestions their task had been made harder by the removal of that break clause in his Â£6million-a-year contract.