Fabio Capello is to stay on as England manager. The Football Association confirmed the news this afternoon, bringing a swift end to speculation about the Italian's future.
"I am more determined than ever to succeed with the England team," said Capello. The decision was taken following a meeting of the four-man Club England board, which decided unanimously to keep Capello, despite the Three Lions' poor performance at the World Cup.
The full Football Association board subsequently ratified the recommendation, which means Capello will now continue in his £6million-a-year role until the end of UEFA EURO 2012. "Sir Dave Richards has called me to tell me everyone at The FA wants me to continue," said Capello.
"I explained it is very important we use the disappointment as a motivation in the future. I can assure the fans I am now fully focused on our European qualifying fixtures, starting with the friendly against Hungary in August."
In the immediate aftermath of England's record 4-1 defeat by Germany in Bloemfontein last Sunday, it was felt Capello would have to go, even though it had not been four weeks since he signed a revised contract, removing a break clause that would have taken effect after the World Cup.
Yet, within 24 hours, Capello was signalling his intention to continue, leaving the FA in no doubt they would be forced into a costly compensation exercise should they decide to part company with the 64-year-old. Crucially, while many former players, including Alan Shearer, demanded Capello's sacking, those far closer to the action adopted a different approach.
We will look to introduce new players to give the team new energy and I will use all my experience to take England forward.
Bolton chairman - and senior FA figure - Phil Gartside, threw his weight behind Capello, which was seen as crucial given he is a long-time ally of Club England chairman Sir David Richards. Another member of the FA hierarchy, David Sheepshanks, urged caution at virtually the same time as Roy Hodgson, the overwhelming favourite to replace Capello, was being installed as Liverpool manager.
"We are all still extremely disappointed at our performance in South Africa, and we believed it was important that we took some time to reflect on everything in a calm and considered manner back in England," said Richards. "After fully discussing our performance we remain convinced that Fabio is the best man for the job.
"He went into the World Cup with a reputation as one of world football's finest managers and we are confident Fabio will benefit from his first international tournament experience and this will undoubtedly make us all stronger for the EURO 2012 campaign."
Although it had been suggested some members of the FA board were unhappy at the way the Club England offshoot had taken full responsibility for the post-South Africa period, acting chairman Roger Burden expressed his support for the move. He said: "The FA Board supports this decision. It is the right decision and will allow us now to rebuild for the future with Fabio leading us forward."
Capello can now continue with the holiday he went on within hours of his arrival back in London, and start preparing for the friendly with Hungary on August 11 and then the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying programme, which starts with a home game against Bulgaria on 3 September. He has already offered a list of players who were not in South Africa who can hope to be involved, including Manchester City winger Adam Johnson, Arsenal trio Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere and Fulham forward Bobby Zamora.
"We will look to introduce new players to give the team new energy and I will use all my experience to take England forward," said Capello. "I am extremely proud to be the England manager, it means so much to me and I am determined to succeed."