There we go Sunderland, that wasn’t so hard was it? Could have knocked that out in five minutes on Sunday evening eh? Saved us all a lot of heartbreak and bad blood.
In a statement released today by the club Di Canio has announced that “I am not political, I do not affiliate myself to any organisation, I am not a racist and I do not support the ideology of fascism. I respect everyone.”
Now we could spend eternity trawling over what has happened in the past, what was said and what wasn’t said, reasons and political interpretations but that’s not going to get us anywhere and it will only hurt the football club more than it has already hurt itself.
On the upside, we’ve all had a good chance to learn more about the development of pre-war Italian fascism and everyone’s learnt a lesson about the value of good PR.
Now gan on Paolo and keep us up.
I’ve been asked a couple of times about my reaction to yesterday’s press statement and since so many people looked at the first blog, it only seems right to complete the story. I have called it an addedum rather than directly adding to the above story because some people kindly retweeted the above with positive comments so I don’t want to make out they are being kind about this comment too.
Di Canio has always denied the “I’m a fascist not a racist” comment [I discovered reading an old Italian newspaper http://www.repubblica.it/2005/l/sezioni/sport/calcio/dicaniosalut/noraz/noraz.html ] and I can’t find a transcript of the original ANSA interview.
So if he denies the charge of being a fascist, then I guess that has to be fine.
Di Canio has given some explanations for his understanding of and interest in Mussolini and perhaps these explain his somewhat dubious tattoos. His cherry-picked historical interpretations are terribly flawed but this is no crime, or if it is, we are all guilty to some extent. He has also explained his Roman salutes too and maybe I have to accept those explanations.
I still think it’s an appalling situation. I wish he wasn’t manager, for footballing reasons as well as all of this baggage and the bad smell that hangs around the club, but that’s not going to change anything. He’s there now and if I want the club to succeed then I have to want him to succeed.
Di Canio, along with everyone else and, without getting into a discussion of freedom of speech right now, is entitled to whatever opinions he wants to hold, whatever they are.
The club’s reputation has been badly damaged, the whole thing stinks, my love of the club has been badly wounded [is it fatal? I don’t know] and I’m genuinely heartbroken by the whole affair.
Anyway, onwards and upwards…