With just two wins in their last 10 competitive matches and the national team in a precarious position in Euro 2016 qualifying, Fabio Capello is on a very hot seat.
But as of now he’s still in charge, and many have speculated that could be due to a lucrative buyout in his contract which the Russian federation would struggle to pay thanks to massive inflation in the country.
However, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says that is not the case. “There are no problems whatsoever with canceling the contract,” Mutko told R-Sport. The Associated Press reports that thanks to an extension he signed in January of 2014, Capello’s guaranteed compensation is $24 million, and with the sports ministry already struggling to pay his $7 million per year salary that total would seem completely out of reach.
The Russian team has struggled mightily in Group G play in its effort to make the expanded Euro 2016 finals. Their two wins across the group stage have come in the form of a 4-0 win over lowly Lichtenstein and a “3-0 win” over Montenegro that was awarded to them after the match was abandoned when goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was hit in the head by a flare and taken to the hospital. Most recently they fell to Austria 1-0 on June 14. They sit in third place in the group – not a guaranteed advancement place but a playoff-eligible spot – with four matches to go, four points back of second and three points ahead of Montenegro.
The team has scored just two goals across its last four completed matches, and while Capello has long been known as a defensive manager, the lack of goalscoring has peeved both fans and executives. Capello has stated he wishes to see the team through to defend its home turf in the 2018 World Cup, but if things don’t improve, the country will summon every resource possible in an effort to make a change.