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Paolo Di Canio offered to quit Sunderland during fascism row

Di Canio was ready to quit Sunderland
© PA Photos
Paolo Di Canio reveals that he was ready to quit Sunderland at the height of the fascism row that surrounded his arrival on Wearside.

Paolo Di Canio has revealed that he was ready to quit Sunderland during the fascism row shortly after his appointment as the club's manager.

The Italian, who replaced Martin O'Neill on Wearside, had to release a statement saying that he does "not support the ideology of fascism" after numerous reports on past statements he had made. This led to a meeting with club owner Ellis Short.

"I told him, 'Tell me what I have to do. Bye bye. No problem, because I do not want to be a problem for the club'," Di Canio told The Independent.

"'If I don't represent a problem for you, I am okay, I am ready to handle the pressure. It is no pressure for me. All day rubbish me, I don't care. It is my life, but if you think 'mmm, probably yeah, I let you be free', I don't want nothing and I go'.

Di Canio stayed on and has guided Sunderland away from the Premier League drop zone. He says that he owes a lot to Short.

"I will never forget what he did," added the Italian. "He gave me a big chance of my dream to become manager at the top level. Next year I hope I can be here. You never know what is going on in life.

"In this moment, he did not give up, he gave me 100%, 200% support. He convinced me to stay because he said you are our man. He is the owner, he picked me. I can't forget for the rest of my life, no matter what happens in the future."

Victory over Southampton this afternoon will virtually secure the Black Cats' safety.

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Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio smiles prior to kick off in the match against Stoke on May 6, 2013
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