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Training-ground incident triggers Di Canio firing

  • Guardian, Monday, September 23, 2013 3:54 PM
The tempestuous six-month reign of Paulo Di Canio as Sunderland manager is over. On Sunday, one day after he bizarrely strolled onto the field and appealed to fans following a 3-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion, the team announced his dismissal. A training-ground meeting Sunday morning apparently triggered the firing. The Guardian reported he bickered with players at the meeting and when details were told to team owner Ellis Short, Di Canio was out.

“Sunderland AFC confirms that it has parted company with head coach Paolo Di Canio this evening,” read a club statement. “Kevin Ball will take charge of the squad ahead of Tuesday night's Capital One Cup game against Peterborough and an announcement will be made in due course regarding a permanent successor. The club would like to place on record its thanks to Paolo and his staff and wishes them well for the future.”

Di Canio had been asked to incorporate 14 summer signings made by director of football Roberto De Fanti. Of those recruits 13 were foreign and only five had previous Premier League experience. One of them is U.S. forward Jozy Altidore, who has played four games since joining Sunderland in a $13 million transfer from Dutch club AZ.

Sunderland has managed just one point in five games this season. Di Canio was fined 8,000 pounds ($12,820) for misconduct by the English FA after criticizing referee Martin Atkinson during a 3-1 loss to Arsenal. Among the possible successors named in news accounts are former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo and ex-Brighton manager Gus Poyet.

Read the whole story at Guardian »

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