Di Canio criticism 'insulting'

Sunderland's chief executive officer Margaret Byrne has revealed the club's disappointment over criticism of Paolo Di Canio.

Last Updated: 01/04/13 at 16:37 Post Comment

Paolo Di Canio: An "honest man of principle", says Sunderland CEO Marg

Paolo Di Canio: An "honest man of principle", says Sunderland CEO Marg

The Italian was the choice to succeed Martin O'Neill as the club prepare for a relegation dogfight, but Di Canio's past political views have stolen the headlines since his appointment.

MP David Miliband resigned from the Sunderland board, but Byrne insists they have hired "an honest man of principle", and that references to Di Canio being a fascist are an insult to the club.

In a club statement, Byrne said: "Sunderland AFC is a traditional football club, with a rich and proud history. It has a strong ethos and ethics and that has not changed in any shape or form.

"Naturally it's been very disappointing to read some of the reaction to Paolo's appointment in the last 24 hours.

"Anyone who has met Paolo and spoken with him personally, as we did in depth before making this appointment, will know that he is an honest man, a man of principle and a driven, determined and passionate individual.

"To accuse him now, as some have done, of being a racist or having fascist sympathies, is insulting not only to him but to the integrity of this football club.

"Paolo has spoken emotively and at length in order to clarify some of the misconceptions that surround him and historical comments and actions attributed to him in the past.

"My role and that of the board is to act in the best interests of this club at all times and in appointing Paolo Di Canio we feel we have done just that.

"It is disappointing that some people are trying to turn the appointment of a head coach into a political circus.

"We are a football club and now want to allow Paolo and the team to focus on the rest of the season."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

o credit to Brendan for playing an innovative 'False No.1' for the first half of the season?

balls-to-monty
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

I

ve been really impressed by Adrian when I've seen West Ham matches. Really good keeper and has earnt the 'Ammers many a point this season. Wouldn't swap Lloris for anyone either, he's currently far too good for us.

dryice
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

H

ow is Mignolet, most PL clean sheets this season, not a part of this list? Ridiculous!

mahzaib aziz
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

Footer 365

Champions League: Real Madrid's Bale and Benzema fit for Juventus clash

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema should be fit for Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final first-leg clash at Juventus.

Manchester United confirm tour of US in 2015

Manchester United have confirmed they will face Barcelona, PSG, Club America and San Jose Earthquakes on a US tour this summer.

Nigel Pearson warns Leicester winning run is worth nothing yet

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson is delighted to be out of the Premier League's bottom three but has warned his players they have achieved nothing yet.

Mail Box

Is Mrs Mediawatch A Brighton Fan?

The Mailbox stands firmly in Bournemouth's corner, Jose Mourinho is defended in force and Manchester City would want him if he was sacked at Chelsea...

Mourinho A 'Motivator Of Idiots'

The Mailbox asks whether Jose Mourinho is really that special or is he just 'a motivator of idiots?' And strikers don't come through at top clubs...apparently.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company