Date: 17th September 2013 at 12:14pm
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PDC is entrant number one into our hall of shame.

In our inaugural Vital Swindon Town Hall Of Shame Article we would like to induct our first member. None other than former Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio. We understand that it will be a controversial choice and perhaps viewed as sour grapes but, we will outline our reasons why below.

Following relegation form League One and the departure of the completely inept Paul Hart, Town needed something to galvanise the side and to get the buzz back at the County Ground, Enter madcap West Ham Paolo Di Canio who stepped into the breaches of management for the first time.

Don`t get us wrong, Under Paolo we had some great times, the win against Wigan, the call to arms following the Oxford away loss, the win against Stoke, a JPT Final appearance, the League Two title however we also had some unsavoury and to be honest cringe worthy moments.

Di Canio arrived and was set with the task of getting a side together to compete for League Two promotion. With most of the squad from the relegation season before bottling it and running with their tail between their legs, the task was huge.

Di Canio went along and signed Italians, Alberto Comazzi, Mattia Lanzano and Alesasndro Cibocchi as well as Medhi Kerrouche, Oliver Risser, Ibrahim Itiku and Etienne Esajas. Town fans were a bit perplexed due to the lack of names that had Football League experience but Comazzi looked a belting signing having played in the upper echelons of Italian Football.

It wasn`t long before the fans realised that most of these players were pants and would never do anything in English football. Di Canio eventually changed tact and brought in players with experience in the English Leagues with Alan Connell, Alan McCormack, Joe Devera, Raffa De Vita and Leon Clarke joining the fray.

The English Players apart from Clarke all made a good impression whilst Town were spending stupid amounts of money to buy success. The board at the time, wanting to make amends would do anything Di Canio wanted. They knew he was good to get Town in the papers and on the telly but Di Canio had a knack of falling out with his own players who didn`t do as he said and when he said.

Such was the inability of Di Canio to spot a good player when he arrived, Town actually ended up paying off most of the players contracts whom he had signed in pre-season. Ibrahim Itiku who signed a 2 year contract with Town NEVER played a game for Swindon. Comazzi was clumsy and got red carded on his debut and Leon Clarke was just a man who would rather moan more than Karl Pilington abroad. Di Canio would go on to fall out with cult hero, top goal scorer Kerrouche and have a famous incident with petulant cry baby striker Leon Clarke.

Town would go on to win League Two in their first season after bringing in Luke Rooney, Paul Benson and Wesley Foderingham which made him a hero among the Town faithful for getting the job done first time,

Di Canio looking to get Town to the Championship, went out and spent a load more money the following pre-season bringing in Gary Roberts who would go on to be absolutely rubbish, James Collins, who would be Town`s top goal scorer despite hardly starting, Tommy Miller who arrived at games on a zimmer frame, Alan Navarro who has a season ticket in the medical room, Andy Williams who couldn`t hit the side of a barn and Troy Archibald-Henville who has been crocked ever since arriving at the County Ground.

Prior to the season it transpire that Di Canio fell out with captain Paul Caddis and publically humiliated him despite singing his praises for leading the side to the League Two titl just weeks earlier. Caddis sadly would never play for Town again and was shipped out on a season long loan to Birmingham where he blossomed.

Shortly thereafter in the first months of the season, Di Canio demanded more loan players but launched into a tirade about the famous “EMBARGO” that Town had over them for what it seemed like forever due to constant reminders from the Italian. Paolo Di Canio had a set budget for the season, he had spent it within 3 months of the season starting. Ok we will be fair he didn`t expect to have to shell out the level of compensation due to James Collins and Troy Archibald-Henville.

During this time he would fall out with Alan Connell, Paul Benson and Luke Rooney, all whom were sent packing on loan or permanent deals.

Bizzarely Di Canio would fall out with Wes Foderingham his star signing at Preston and continue to moan about the transfer embargo that he said “changed the plan and moved the goal posts”. Di Canio would stay preaching loyalty to the fans and the club but that would all change when Andrew Black the clubs majority shareholder replaced Di Canio ally Jeremy Wray with diplomat Sir William Patey.

Di Canio would continue to go mental in the press complaining about the lack of funds available to him despite spending millions since his arrival to the club.

The final straw for Di Canio was when he agreed to bring Marlon Pack and Bradley Wright-Phillips to the County Ground on transfer deadline day and the deals fell through as the new ownership of the club hadn`t been completed.

News then filtered through that Swindon Town were near administration due to Di Canio`s spending and star winger Matt Ritchie was sold for a paltry £500,000 just to keep the club going. Di Canio was raging and quit shortly after saying his contract had been breached and that he was leaving as he had been disrespected and not consulted on the sale of Ritchie. All this despite fans pleading with PDC to stay, he took his ball and ran as the money dried up despite saying how loyal he was.

Shortly after his departure, and with the club being top of League One, Paolo returned to the County Ground at night and cleared his office out with his assistant manager Fabrizio Piccaretta, giving Paolo one last piece of publicity he so craves.

Due to his spending which nearly bankrupt the club and lack of loyalty despite demanding it from the players and fans alike, we enter Paolo Di Canio into our hall of shame despite his achievements on the pitch.

Since leaving Swindon the Paolo Di Canio circus has moved to Sunderland. They are rock bottom of the Premier League as Paolo once again continued his tradition of high player turn over and falling out with players and is making a right cock up of that club who looked destined for the Championship should things carry on as they are.

 

5 Replies to “VITAL SWINDON HALL OF SHAME: Paolo Di Canio”

  • Nice one Swindon fans – you have put one of your most successful managers ever in a “Hall of Shame” – check the his win percentage against your previous managers, I couldn’t find one with a higher percentage. Any rational person might think you’ve been so long in the mire that you resented it when someone looked like getting you out of it by winning playing good football. Promotion, a decent cup run, offering to pay to keep players…

    Next manager for the Hall of Shame: Hoddle… he came close to doing as well as Di Canio.

    Sour grapes doesn’t come close to describing this rubbish.

    I’ve pasted the wike page on Di Canio’s time at Swindon among the ungrateful losers:
    Di Canio has a UEFA Pro Licence for coaching. On 20 May 2011, Di Canio was appointed manager of Swindon Town, following the club’s relegation to League Two. Di Canio began his career as a manager with an emphatic 3?0 win over Crewe Alexandra on 6 August 2011.[16] On 30 August 2011, Di Canio was involved in a pitch-side altercation with Swindon striker Leon Clarke after their defeat in the League Cup to Southampton.[17] In January 2012, Swindon caused a FA Cup shock by defeating Premier League club Wigan Athletic 2?1. Di Canio stated that he believed his players deserved to have their names put on the stadium and dedicated the victory to his father, who died late in 2011.[18] He was sent to the stands later in the month in a league game against Macclesfield Town for vociferously venting his frustration at his side not being awarded a free-kick. Swindon won the match 1?0 and with over half the season gone, his team were fighting for promotion to League One.
    Di Canio at the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park, 11 September 2010. Under Di Canio, Swindon reached the 2012 Football League Trophy Final, where they were defeated 2?0 by Chesterfield
    On 21 April 2012, Swindon were promoted to the League One after Crawley Town’s 1?1 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge and Torquay United’s 2?0 loss to AFC Wimbledon, despite Di Canio’s side having lost 3?1 to Gillingham on the same day. He dedicated the promotion to his parents, his mother having passed away shortly after his father in April of that year. One week later, Swindon won the Football League Two thanks to an emphatic 5?0 victory over Port Vale. Swindon finished the season on 93 points.
    Although in the 2012/13 season, Swindon were knocked out of the FA Cup and the Football League Trophy in their first game against opposition from lower leagues, they did have a solid run in the League Cup in which they won against three teams from higher leagues. They beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3?0, won against Stoke City 3?4 after extra time, and beat Burnley 3?1 before narrowly missing out against Aston Villa 3?2 at home.
    In January 2013, with Swindon under a transfer embargo and in financial difficulty, Di Canio offered to pay £30,000 of his own money to keep loan players John Bostock, Chris Martin, and Danny Hollands at the club.

    On 18 January 2013, ahead of Swindon’s Saturday clash with Shrewsbury Town, Di Canio worked into the night alongside approximately 200 volunteers to clear a snow-covered pitch at the County Ground, thus allowing the game to go ahead. He showed his appreciation by ordering everyone pizza. Swindon won the match 2?0, which Di Canio publicly deemed a present to the volunteers.

    In January 2013, the Swindon Town chairman announced that due to financial difficulties, no money would be made available for future signings. Di Canio offered to pay £30,000 of his own money to keep loan players at the club. With the possibility of the club entering administration, a new buyer was found, subject to Football League approval, and without the knowledge of Di Canio, player Matt Ritchie was sold to Bournemouth. Further attempts to sign players by Di Canio were rejected by the Football League due to the club’s financial situation with Di Canio “considering his future” at Swindon due to off-field financial problems. In February, Di Canio offered his resignation but said he would withdraw this if approval for the new owners, by the Football League, was received by 18 February. This did not happen and he resigned as manager of Swindon Town

    Check your history… I may have missed a manager who won more of his games but I don’t think I did…

  • Nice one Swindon fans – you have put one of your most successful managers ever in a “Hall of Shame” – check the his win percentage against your previous managers, I couldn’t find one with a higher percentage. Any rational person might think you’ve been so long in the mire that you resented it when someone looked like getting you out of it by winning playing good football. Promotion, a decent cup run, offering to pay to keep players…

    Next manager for the Hall of Shame: Hoddle… he came close to doing as well as Di Canio.

    Sour grapes doesn’t come close to describing this rubbish.

    I’ve pasted the wike page on Di Canio’s time at Swindon among the ungrateful losers:
    Di Canio has a UEFA Pro Licence for coaching. On 20 May 2011, Di Canio was appointed manager of Swindon Town, following the club’s relegation to League Two. Di Canio began his career as a manager with an emphatic 3?0 win over Crewe Alexandra on 6 August 2011.[16] On 30 August 2011, Di Canio was involved in a pitch-side altercation with Swindon striker Leon Clarke after their defeat in the League Cup to Southampton.[17] In January 2012, Swindon caused a FA Cup shock by defeating Premier League club Wigan Athletic 2?1. Di Canio stated that he believed his players deserved to have their names put on the stadium and dedicated the victory to his father, who died late in 2011.[18] He was sent to the stands later in the month in a league game against Macclesfield Town for vociferously venting his frustration at his side not being awarded a free-kick. Swindon won the match 1?0 and with over half the season gone, his team were fighting for promotion to League One.
    Di Canio at the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park, 11 September 2010. Under Di Canio, Swindon reached the 2012 Football League Trophy Final, where they were defeated 2?0 by Chesterfield
    On 21 April 2012, Swindon were promoted to the League One after Crawley Town’s 1?1 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge and Torquay United’s 2?0 loss to AFC Wimbledon, despite Di Canio’s side having lost 3?1 to Gillingham on the same day. He dedicated the promotion to his parents, his mother having passed away shortly after his father in April of that year. One week later, Swindon won the Football League Two thanks to an emphatic 5?0 victory over Port Vale. Swindon finished the season on 93 points.
    Although in the 2012/13 season, Swindon were knocked out of the FA Cup and the Football League Trophy in their first game against opposition from lower leagues, they did have a solid run in the League Cup in which they won against three teams from higher leagues. They beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3?0, won against Stoke City 3?4 after extra time, and beat Burnley 3?1 before narrowly missing out against Aston Villa 3?2 at home.
    In January 2013, with Swindon under a transfer embargo and in financial difficulty, Di Canio offered to pay £30,000 of his own money to keep loan players John Bostock, Chris Martin, and Danny Hollands at the club.

    On 18 January 2013, ahead of Swindon’s Saturday clash with Shrewsbury Town, Di Canio worked into the night alongside approximately 200 volunteers to clear a snow-covered pitch at the County Ground, thus allowing the game to go ahead. He showed his appreciation by ordering everyone pizza. Swindon won the match 2?0, which Di Canio publicly deemed a present to the volunteers.

    In January 2013, the Swindon Town chairman announced that due to financial difficulties, no money would be made available for future signings. Di Canio offered to pay £30,000 of his own money to keep loan players at the club. With the possibility of the club entering administration, a new buyer was found, subject to Football League approval, and without the knowledge of Di Canio, player Matt Ritchie was sold to Bournemouth. Further attempts to sign players by Di Canio were rejected by the Football League due to the club’s financial situation with Di Canio “considering his future” at Swindon due to off-field financial problems. In February, Di Canio offered his resignation but said he would withdraw this if approval for the new owners, by the Football League, was received by 18 February. This did not happen and he resigned as manager of Swindon Town

    Check your history… I may have missed a manager who won more of his games but I don’t think I did…

  • Just realised after reading the Wiki on PDC that his achievements – achievement despite the useless Swindon fans and the board going back on its word – came at a time when he lost both parents… incredible.

    You have to go in the Hall of Fame as the Worst Supporters in the League.

  • I have just came across this badly written article and as a Town fan of 40 odd years I can?t believe someone could try and destroy such a wonderful time which left behind such wonderful memories. Champions and a cup final all in one season following on from relegation the year before, this along with an FA Cup win over premier league side Wigan, and personally the 5-0 win over Port vale on the last day of the season to win the league and the celebration that followed afterwards were the best town game I have ever attended in my whole life as a town fan. However it did not end there as PDC was not a one season wonder and followed this success up in his second season, when we beat premier league team Stoke City in the league cup and we where up to 2nd league and odds on for back to back promotions before he left. PDC was a 100% undeniable complete success at Swindon Town and to put him in a hall are the action of a complete mentalist.

    In regard to the signings PDC made and the money he spent on players, a shed load of clubs spend very big every single year, but I don?t hear Chelsea supporters belittling Mourinho achievements and past success because he had to spend big to get it.

    Joe Polar

  • Whatever anyone says, PDC put an 1,000 on the gate every home match. My daughter, now 12 years old has not been inside the CG since Feb 2013 despite having a season ticket ( empty seat) in the Arkle stand. PDC was successful but the board failed to do enough to keep hold of a manager that could have taken swindon up again. So if Mark Cooper leaves will we slate him for doing so well also. Top of the league again, It has taken us 2 years to get to where PDC left us

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