PAOLO Di Canio has hit back at a newspaper story and the Twitter remarks of Andrew Black which he feels “seem deliberately slanted to damage my reputation, and shift the blame onto me for the recent problems of STFC”.
In a statement released exclusively to the Advertiser, the Italian says a national newspaper’s report that Swindon Town were forced to change the locks after he returned to the County Ground at night to collect mementos of his stay is misleading.
He also rebukes the comments made by the Robins’ former majority shareholder on the social networking site last night, which gave the Betfair founder’s account of his tenure at the County Ground.
The statement ends with the phrase “for the moment I can make no further comment on this, as this matter is now in the hands of my legal advisors.”
It reads: “Unfortunately, at the moment it seems that I have to correct newspaper articles and other comments on a daily basis.
“These appear to stem from items leaked to the press by anonymous sources that seem to be inside or close to the Club. They are often either distorted versions of what actually happened or completely inaccurate. They all seem deliberately slanted to damage my reputation, and shift the blame onto me for the recent problems of STFC.
“Today, two stories have appeared.
“The first is suggesting that the Club have been obliged to change the locks because I broke into the County Ground and removed items to which I was not entitled., This is a complete distortion of what actually happened.
“When it became clear that my time at Swindon Town Football Club had come to an end, I decided that I would clear my office of my own personal items at a time when no one else was there. Although my Technical staff had stated their intention to resign after the Tranmere Game, it was agreed with a member of the old board that they would refrain from confirming this until after a meeting on Friday (today).
“I attended the County Ground with some of my Technical staff who were still employees of the club and entered into my office to remove my personal items, including some pictures that I had asked the club to produce personally for me. These pictures documented the time when I signed for the club and our first pre-season and were personal to me and would be of use to no one else other than myself as I am sure the new Manager would not want to look at my face every day he came into the office.
“There was no force used in anything we did and the following day, Fabrizio, along with some of my Technical staff went into the club to advise them of what we had done, offering to pay for the small amount of damage which occurred from the glue holding one part of the picture in place. This damage was so small that by the time they had attended the County Ground, it had already been repaired. I would stress that I did not take anything that belonged to the club.
“In addition to this, there were a number of items that fans had left for signature, which were signed and given to the club.
“The second matter concerns the comments made by Andrew Black last night on Twitter, which does not accurately describe what actually occurred and is a misleading version of events, which in the fullness of time, I will prove. However, for the moment I can make no further comment on this, as this matter is now in the hands of my legal advisors.”