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SWINDON TOWN: Di Canio says Swindon "chapter is finished"
5:03pm Wednesday 27th February 2013 in Sport
PAOLO Di Canio has confirmed that he will not be returning to Swindon Town as manager.
The Italian quit the County Ground last week citing “broken promises” made by the previous board at the club, but pockets of fans had hoped that the extrovert former Lazio forward would make a remarkable U-turn and come back to the the Robins following the purchase of Town by new owners.
However, that was never likely and Di Canio revealed this afternoon that his “chapter” with Swindon is closed.
“I don’t want any more from now that someone speculates with my name and tells people that maybe one day I can come back,” he told Sky Sports News.
“That is not fair for the fans and so my chapter at Swindon is finished in terms of being manager of Swindon Football Club.
“I’m a straight man, I handled a situation this year that was absolutely incredible and one day I came out to say it was untenable. The regret is only that we brought this club to the top in an incredible environment this year, without any help.”
Di Canio had to operate under a series of transfer embargos during his second season in charge of the Robins and criticised the atmopshere at the club for being “hostile” towards him.
He was given a £4.5million budget last summer but had struggled to make up a full squad on matchdays recently after a raft of injuries.
The Italian holds a major grievance regarding the sale of Matt Ritchie to Bournemouth on January 30, and cites that decision by former majority shareholder Andrew Black as the catalyst to his choice to leave the club.
Ritchie was sold in order to raise the funds necessary to keep Swindon solvent during the interim period between ownerships of the club. The portion Town received of the £500,000 Bournemouth paid for the winger’s services ensured salaries were paid in February.
“The main reason was that Matt Ritchie was sold behind me,” Di Canio said. “That was the main problem obviously. Obviously also there are many other things.
“Not only in the way it happened, it was clear that they breached the contract in that situation because there was an agreement that every player that was for sale should go through me and have a meeting and maybe discuss it.
“It didn’t happen and anyway we can prove that someone told us that he wasn’t for sale. That was the main factor.”
Having initially quit the club on Tuesday, February 12, Di Canio was convinced by the incoming Swindon board - that of Jed McCrory - to sign a short-term agreement on Friday, February 15 which included a 5pm deadline on Monday, February 18, by which time the takeover needed to be completed else he would confirm his resignation.
With the Football League continuing their own due diligence of the takeover and various elements contributing to the delay of the sale of the club, that deadline came and went without positive news.
Di Canio claims the fact that the new board did not contact him on the evening of Monday, February 18 influenced his decision to walk away. Football League ratification did not arrive until around 4pm on Thursday, February 21.
It is understood that McCrory was not personally informed of Di Canio’s resignation by the relevant parties and attempted to get in touch with Di Canio’s representatives early on Tuesday, February 19.
“I didn’t see a very strong, strong desire from someone to keep Paolo Di Canio in the club so for this reason I decided to resign from the club,” Di Canio said.
“It was a mutual agreement between me and the new consortium, at the time they weren’t on top of the club. We made a deadline that was agreed together in front of my solicitors. That was Monday at 5pm.
"Nobody forced nobody else to sign that mutual agreement in these terms. The fact is that at 5pm of Monday, the deadline, I didn’t receive any phone call to try to persuade me and try to delay it maybe 24 hours.
“If that had happened maybe I would have decided a different way. But I waited two hours later to send out my statement just in case they wanted to contact me. It didn’t happen, so this is the reason why I decided to resign.“