From CBC in Canada:
Contract to replace fired Martin O’Neill is for 2.5 years
The Associated Press
Posted: Mar 31, 2013 5:34 PM ET
Last Updated: Mar 31, 2013 6:48 PM ET
Sunderland took a gamble by hiring Paolo Di Canio as its new manager on Sunday, empowering the inexperienced and outspoken Italian with the tough task of ensuring the relegation-threatened team retains its Premier League status.
The appointment came a day after Martin O’Neill was fired following a poor run of results and sparked immediate controversy, with former British politician David Miliband resigning from his positions as vice chairman and non-executive director of the club because of Di Canio’s openly fascist leanings.
Di Canio had a colorful playing career in the top divisions of Italy, England and Celtic, marked by sublime goals and headline-grabbing antics — notably when he pushed a referee to the ground after being sent off while playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 1996.
Then there was the straight-arm salute — adopted by the Italian Fascist regime in the early 20th century — that he performed in front of the fans of his Lazio team in 2005, earning him a ban, a fine and condemnation by FIFA.
“I am a fascist, not a racist,” Di Canio said at the time, and he has praised Mussolini in his autobiography, calling the former Italian leader as “basically a very principled, ethical individual” who was “deeply misunderstood.”
Di Canio has limited managerial experience, with his only previous job ending at third-tier English club Swindon last month after a turbulent 1 1/2 years in charge. It is a big call by Sunderland owner Ellis Short at this stage of the season. …
[David] Miliband, who contested the leadership in 2010 of the Labour party in Britain, stood down within minutes of the 44-year-old Di Canio’s appointment.
“I wish Sunderland AFC all success in the future,” Miliband wrote on his website. “It is a great institution that does a huge amount for the North East and I wish the team very well over the next vital seven games. However, in the light of the new manager’s past political statements, I think it right to step down.”
So David Miliband, rightly so, does not want to work now with a self-styled fascist. I wish he would have thought like that earlier, when he was still British Foreign Secretary and sent people to dictatorship’s dungeons to be tortured.
- Paolo Di Canio Appointed Manager of Sunderland; David Miliband Resigns In Protest (epltalk.com)
- David Miliband steps down from Sunderland over Paolo Di Canio appointment (newstatesman.com)
- Miliband quits after Di Canio hired (bbc.co.uk)
- You: David Miliband quits Sunderland FC in Di Canio protest (guardian.co.uk)
- Now David Miliband quits Sunderland football club: Outgoing MP resigns over new manager Paolo Di Canio’s fascist views (dailymail.co.uk)
- David Miliband quits Sunderland role over Paolo Di Canio appointment as successor to Martin O’Neill (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)