Paolo Di Canio sacked: Sunderland dismiss controversial Italian just five games into the season
Defeat at West Bromwich and confrontation with fans was final straw for chairman Ellis Short
Monday 23 September 2013
Paolo Di Canio became the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season on Sunday night when Sunderland dramatically called time on the gamble of his controversial appointment.
With the Italian’s hastily rebuilt side bottom of the table with just one point from five games, the Sunderland chairman, Ellis Short, who had bankrolled his 14 signings in the summer, acted swiftly the day after a sobering 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.
Di Canio had reacted to the loss by bizarrely walking across the Hawthorns pitch and confronting the travelling Sunderland fans, some of whom responded angrily, many with bemusement.
A club statement last night said: “Sunderland AFC confirms that it has parted company with head coach Paolo Di Canio this evening.
“Kevin Ball will take charge of the squad ahead of Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup game against Peterborough United 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 arrived at the Stadium of Light at the end of March when Short reacted to a supine performance in the 1-0 home defeat to Manchester United by dispensing with Martin O’Neill and, with relegation a possibility, bravely opting for the former Swindon manager. It proved a controversial appointment as critics cited reports of his alleged fascist sympathies.
Di Canio managed to inject some spirit into the side and helped by a 3-0 victory over local rivals Newcastle at St James’ Park kept them up. However, he was highly critical of the squad he inherited from O’Neill and spent the summer overhauling his playing staff.
He spoke of being given time for his new-look side to gel but in the Premier League that was never likely and heavy defeats at Crystal Palace and West Bromwich sealed his fate after just five games.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant