PAOLO Di Canio has said he is willing to help finance the loan extensions of Chris Martin, Danny Hollands and John Bostock personally.
The trio have all played their last games for Swindon Town under the terms of their original short-term deals at the County Ground, but Di Canio rates their continued stays as crucial for the Robins’ chances of success this season.
With money tight at the club after most of the funds originally earmarked for January by majority shareholder Andrew Black were used in November to propel Town out of the transfer embargo, it is possible that the Italian will not have the budget available to him to keep all three.
Therefore, Di Canio made the remarkable statement after his side’s 4-0 win over Carlisle on Saturday that he would be happy to contribute his own money to the cause.
“I will do everything. I won’t talk about the board anymore because I have to be clear. I will do everything to keep them, even put my money in. I’m not joking,” he said.
“I will sacrifice something, which is mad to sacrifice something and remain short in one area, to keep those two players, because we have to do something.
“I will do everything because I am not a passive manager, I will do everything in my power because it’s a shame to lose some players in this moment. It’s not an attack on anyone, it’s a shame.
“To stay fifth in this moment, with one game in hand, with this atmosphere it would be a shame to lose something. I will do everything. If the money is acceptable money to spend, I will spend.
“I don’t know - £20,000 or £30,000 – I will put my money in to keep them as long as we can because I care, because I want to win. I have ambition and even if I put in my own money I will try because I want to win.
“I’m sure with them we have more of a chance to win. Anyway, if the situation remains like this I have to sacrifice something. I have to try to do something; I can’t keep everything in this moment.
“I have three plans. (The first is) if there is some change and someone goes mad in a positive way. If it’s not possible there are two plans. One – I put in myself and see what I can do and then sacrifice a player in a place to keep a player that in this moment is crucial for me and for this team.
“It’s clear that Danny Hollands wants to stay desperately, Chris Martin wants to stay desperately. Also Bostock, even if he isn’t involved, is a quality player.”
Over the weekend, Town fans on Twitter and online forums reacted to Di Canio’s statement by proposing a supporters’ fund to aid their manager in the transfer market.
Those wishing to donate to the Red Army Fund, which was set up several years ago with the expressed aim of helping the club with transfer fees and player wages, should visit the Trust STFC website for details of how to get involved.
Visit www.truststfc.com/raf/contribute/ to find out more.