Pablo Di Canio appointed Sunderland boss, non-executive chairman Miliband resigns

Pablo Di Canio has been appointed the manager of Sunderland following the sacking of Martin O’Neill. Di Canio was recently sacked from his post as the manager of Swindon Town after a run of eight games without a win. The volatile forty-four-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Sunderland, and his job will be to guide the club away from the Premier League relegation zone.

Speaking through Sunderland’s official website, Sunderland chairman Ellis Short welcomed Di Canio to the club, “Paolo is hugely enthused by the challenge that lies ahead of him,” Short said. “He is passionate, driven and raring to get started.

“The sole focus of everyone for the next seven games will be to ensure we gain enough points to maintain our top-flight status. I think that the chances of that are greatly increased with Paolo joining us.

“Our fans have shown tremendous patience and understanding this season. They have continued to back the team in huge numbers, both home and away, and that is something that continues to inspire all of us in our drive to give them the successful club they deserve. That remains our primary aim.”

Di Canio’s appointment has already proven controversial, with non-executive vice chairman David Miliband stepping down from his position because of Di Canio’s arrival. “I wish Sunderland AFC all success in the future,” Miliband said. “It is a great institution that does a huge amount for the North East and I wish the team very well over the next vital seven games. However, in the light of the new manager’s past political statements, I think it right to step down.”

Di Canio’s appointment is an odd choice by their American owner, but in Di Canio’s first season as Swindon manager he worked wonders, and won the side a promotion from League Two, which could be why he got the job. Although working wonders with the club, Swindon’s former chief executive Nick Watkins said Di Canio was “a challenge”, which Sunderland would not want. Watkins went on to say “He (Di Canio) was demanding to work alongside and had his own management style. He managed very much from the heart and, along the way, created a bit of collateral damage I had to repair.”

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