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What was Sunderland thinking?

FASCIST SALUTE: Di Canio greets Lazio fans as a player

WHAT MUST Paolo Di Canio be thinking today, indeed what were his new employers thinking when employing him?

Having seen their side lose 1-0 to Manchester United (champions elect) they swiftly sacked their manager Martin O’Neil with just 7 games of the season left and employed the self proclaimed fascist.

I have just watched one of the most chaotic and shambolic press conferences ever when the new Sunderland manager refused to answer questions relating to his politics, something he was happy to do back in 2005 when he was banned and fined for giving the straight arm salute to the “ultras” of his then team Lazio.

Of course Di Canio is no stranger to controversy.

Condemned for pushing a referee over in 1998, he is lauded for his skill and praised for his sportsmanship.


NEW GAFFER: Di Canio has been handed the management reigns at Sunderland

What is shocking about this story is not that he is a fascist or even that I have been struggling for a proper definition of the pejorative but that none of this flared up when he was manager at Swindon.

Of course I suppose it was given a big push by the vice chairman and local MP David Miliband’s resignation.

The former Foreign Secretary did not want to be associated with the Italian’s appointment and neither [apparently] do a whole host of die-hard Sunderland supporters.

Press conferences where you can hear the public relations liaison as much as the manager are never good, particularly when the journalists are asking legitimate questions about a new appointment. Are you are fascist? What does it mean? How do you politics affect your job?

Unless Di Canio and Sunderland address these then the union is ill fated. It cannot and will not work, remember you read it here first.

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