Football: Di Canio threatens to leave Celtic out of sympathy for Burns

Scottish football
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The Independent Online
The storm clouds show no sign of clearing over Celtic Park at the end of a traumatic week which has seen the departure of two directors and the manager, Tommy Burns.

Now, the Italian Paolo Di Canio could also take his leave after indicating his displeasure at the departure of Burns, the man who brought him to Scotland.

Having scored one of the goals in a 3-1 win over Hibs, Di Canio, who has been named Player of the Year by his fellow professionals, made his way to the Celtic support, left his jersey with them and walked away a dejected figure.

And his words backed up the body language when he said: "I don't promise anything for next season. I have a contract with Celtic but I maybe don't come back here next season, maybe I do, I don't know.

"At this moment I feel Fergus McCann has made a mistake because Tommy Burns was a good manager for me.''

Billy Stark, who was assistant manager to Burns, has also indicated he will not stay, although he is expected to remain until the end of the season.

Paul McStay may also be going. Celtic's midfielder and former Scotland captain last night emerged as a target for West Bromwich Albion. The First Division club's manager, Ray Harford, will have talks with his board this week about the funds for buying players he claims were promised. McStay, 32, heads his shopping list.

Jorge Cadete scored twice for Celtic yesterday to ensure that Rangers will have to clinch their ninth league title by their own efforts. They have an opportunity to do so this afternoon when Motherwell visit Ibrox. It was the failure of Burns to end Rangers' domination of the league that led to his downfall at Celtic. Now they attempt to change the managerial structure at the club with both a general manger and a first-team coach to be appointed.

Already Kevin Keegan, Terry Venables and Craig Brown have been named in connection with the club, although Bobby Robson has distanced himself from a move, saying that he is happy to stay at Barcelona.

The Rangers supporters will gather in party mood to acclaim their side's achievement of equalling Celtic's league record, convinced that Motherwell, who are second from bottom, will be swept away in the euphoria.

It could also be an emotional afternoon for Richard Gough, the Rangers captain, who has said he will leave the club when the title is won. A draw or win for Rangers would see Gough head for the United States and a new career with Kansas City Wizards.