May 23, 2011

Swindon sponsor pulls out after Paolo Di Canio appointment

• Trade union cancels deal over manager's political views
• Di Canio has 'openly voiced his support for Mussolini'

Paolo Di Canio demonstrates his support for Benito Mussolini during his Lazio days.
Photograph: Paolo Cocco/AFP/Getty Images
A leading trade union has decided to end its sponsorship of Swindon Town in protest at the appointment of Paolo Di Canio as manager.

The GMB said the former Italy international, who was named manager yesterday, had previously voiced right-wing views of which it strongly disapproved. The union's local branch is believed to have paid up to £4,000 to the club this season as part of its sponsorship deal.

"Our local branch has decided to end its association with Swindon following the appointment of Paolo Di Canio," said a GMB spokesman. "He has openly voiced support for [Benito] Mussolini so it beggars belief that Swindon could have appointed him, especially given the multi-ethnic nature of the team and the town."

Di Canio is due to fly to England on Monday to complete the paperwork and be formally introduced as the new manager. The club have been relegated after finishing bottom of League One.

A statement from Swindon said the club are confident he would build a team with the "passion, pride and professionalism" to ensure it could return to League One "at the earliest opportunity".

Di Canio has spoken freely about being a fascist and an admirer of Mussolini. He has faced bans and fines for making the fascist straight-arm salute while playing for the Italian club Lazio. In his autobiography he praised Mussolini as "basically a very principled, ethical individual".



Anonymous said...

(Reposted from the comments on the parish councillor story, as I thought it might get missed there)

I'm one of several long-time Swindon Town fans and season ticket holders who were appalled he was even being contemplated and emailed the club to say so. A lot of us are ashamed he's been appointed as manager, a few may boycott games while he's in charge as a result, but most will argue politics is irrelevant to football.

One thing though - any anti-fascist demonstration against him would be counter-productive. It would be seen as "outsiders" and if anything would only cause a closing of the ranks and unite fans behind di Canio, possibly welcoming support from EDL etc. There's not a strong right-wing presence at Town and the politics is irrelevant to most. Making a cause celebre out of di Canio would ironically serve only to forge alliances that don't currently exist.

A thoroughly ashamed Swindon Town fan

Anonymous said...

Looks like they had no choice.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 12pm. If more people had taken your stance, apartheid would still be alive in South Africa because we would have just happily accepted what was going on. And racism would have destroyed the English footy game.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if his first signing will be Wayne Brown??

Anonymous said...

One thing though - any anti-fascist demonstration against him would be counter-productive.

Given the tribal nature of football, any demos against DI Canio must come from STFC fans themselves. They should demand that Di Canio issues a statement renouncing fascism and racism.

They should make demands on him as his extremist politics could influence his on-field decisions about whether to field black players.

Anonymous said...

Swindon Town Football Company Ltd
The County Ground
County Road
Swindon SN1 2ED

Directors - Russell Backhouse, Andrew Black, Andrew Fitton, Jeremy Wray
Chief Executive - Nicholas Watkins

Nick Watkins
(08448) 801109

Media Manager, Chris Tanner

Football in the Community, 
Clive Maguire

Community Partnership, Steven Weller

Youth Department, 
Paul Bodin + Karen Ainscow +

Advertising Sales, Kay Wainwright

Conferencing Sales, Jo Sear

Hospitality Marketing, Adam Wainwright

Membership Manager, Zoe Collman

Stadium Manager, Mark Isaacs

Web Editor, Chris Smith

Kev Scott loves The Jam said...

@ Anon, fair points..... he's probably gonna be crap as a manager anyway, the fans will reject him and use his fascist beliefs as one of a number of grievances against him.... given enough rope and all that....

Anonymous said...

I agree any demos against Di Canio should come from STFC fans themselves (UAF bleating outside the ground could be disastrous) but that doesn't stop everyone else e-mailing them and most importantly contacting the (local and national) media and pointing the board are being a bunch of.........

Anonymous said...

Contact the sponsors!!!!

joe said...

Alas, the "We're Not Nazi" EDL are posting plenty of congratulations on the net for Di Canio.

You bet yer fucking bibby the EDL's supposed Jewish division are keeping schtum, pretending they don't exist, as DiCanio has aparently made anti-Semitic remarks to footballing colleagues during his time at Nazio.

Jon Snowy Shaw of the NWI said on his twitter tonight that he "supported Di Canio's nationalism", and that he wished more rightwing footballers "would be. free to express their patriotism"

Anonymous said...

In Dick Canios own warped words...
“I cannot help saluting this way. It is a feeling of belonging to my people," he said.

By this people, Dick Canio will mean the EDL, who will be quick to copy his Nazi salutes.

What the fuck will the Jewish Defence League make of the EDL's official and unoffial pro-Dick Canio stance?????

Anonymous said...

Dicanio's eyes look like an enraged Nick Griffin after somebody chucks a custard pie his way.

Why do all neo-nazis have that same lunatic look?

paul said...

Few racist c*nts would have the bloody gaul to meet Holocaust victims and not at least soften their racism in a small-way at least.

After meeting Holocaust victims a couple of years back, Dickanio told the press he had not changed his political views one bit, and refused to collaborate.

Maybe Dickanio calling the fascist bastard (as antiracist fans are nowbelieved Jews deserved to die in the Holocaust.

Wander if there are any Jewish players/supporters or officials at Swindon town feeling absolutely beytrayed by the fascist-friendly board recruiting Dickanio?

Anonymous said...

Forget twitter being sued for libel.

Di Canio can never sue nobody for calling himself fash scum.

He calls himself that, proudly, which is so sickening.

Absolutely no remorse for victims of Hitler and Mussolini.

Kick It Out need to start a campaign called KICK HIM OUT!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 12pm. If more people had taken your stance, apartheid would still be alive in South Africa because we would have just happily accepted what was going on. And racism would have destroyed the English footy game.

Anonymous said...

Town will be wearing blackshirts next season instead of their traditional red...

Anonymous said...

Doesn't he have a tatoo of his fave fash dictator on his arse, or summat???

s said...

Dickanio's views provide huge reinforcement for violent Fascist groups in his native Italy, such as his former club Lazio's "Irriducibili" hooligans, who've displayed banners supporting Serbian war criminal Arkan and banners celebrating Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps. Now his appointment at Swindon provides a huge morale boost for violent racist groups in the UK. Have a word -

Anonymous said...

He's a thoroughly nasty piece of work and it pains me all the more to think that a fascist apologist like him played for celtic.

Anonymous said...

Swindon's board should insist they give proceeds from their matches to Holocaust educational charities.

Anonymous said...

More info on Indymedia

Antifascist said...

'More info on Indymedia'

Anonymous said...

If you see any EDL posting in support of the scum PLEASE SCREEN_CAP THE IMAGES AND POST THEM UP ON INDYMEDIA (it's easy)

Anonymous said...

STFC sponsors include Arkells Brewery, Fast Plant Swindon Ltd, CFM Cotswold Farm Machinery, Lechlade Garden Centre, Four Four Two (footie magazine), FIFA, Adidas (official kit supplier), N Power, Samsung (deal arranged by Martin Howard, sponsorship director of Samsung, couldn't find his email). Here's as much contact info as I could find --,,,,,,,,, - BE POLITE (it's not their fault)

Anonymous said...

Also worth noting the info on Indymedia re ownership structure is incomplete.

The club is owned by Swindon Football Holdings Ltd (there's minor shareholdings outside that but that's where the bulk of the shares sit) which is the vehicle Fitton, Wray et al used to take over the club from the previous hugely unpopular incompetent (and widely considered bent) regime.

The exact ownership of SFH is somewhat obscure, but it consists of (at least) Fitton and Wray as minority shareholders while the money men are Andrew Black (ex-BetFair) and Sir Martyn Arbib, a very wealthy Jewish businessman. Which, of course, does not excuse the appointment of di Canio (it makes it all the more baffling) but tends to suggest the board/owners have fallen for his "Fascist not racist" schtick. Or have at least decided it gives them a fig leaf of cover. I mention it here as it will doubtless be used at some point by those seeking to defend the appointment, much like the EDL's token Sikh "proves" they are not racist.

Still a thoroughly ashamed (and broken hearted) Swindon Town fan and proud anti-fascist

Anonymous said...

Martin Howard on Twitter:!/M40WRD

Again, as suggested above, be polite. Calling him a Nazi etc will only serve to persuade him that the only people who oppose di Canio are nutters.

And I note, with considerable embarrassment, that his twitter profile pic is this season's 3rd kit - the blackshirt. You really couldn't make it up.

The increasingly despondent (but still very proud anti-fascist) Swindon Town fan

Anonymous said...

Just a guess

Anonymous said...

Players' Union, the FA, Show Racism the Red Card, Kick It Out, Holocaust Educational Trust must now liaise with fans' groups. A mass boo of the filthy nazi on day One of the new season would be a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Dickanio looks like a fucking racist lunatic. Brilliant photo of a Hitler-fantasing scumbag, whose views makes many BNPers seem like Mr Ghandi.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Swindon fans. Hope they lose every game until he is dismissed, then they win every game to stay up!

sueee said...

Dickanio's a dickhead of the highest order. Expect Swindon to become a haven for BNPers and EDLers making monkey noises at black players.

Anonymous said...

Ironically enough, he's regarded as a hero by West Ham and their redneck fans.

Anonymous said...

fascist not racist??

The whole ethos of fascism in Europe (and USA) REVOLVES around racism, namely White supremacy and anti-semitism.

As a thought, maybe it should be us Lefties that waves the Star of David at STFC matches!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ironically enough, he's regarded as a hero by West Ham and their redneck fans.

We're not all racist Alf Garnett type dickheads.

Anonymous said...

I agree any demos against Di Canio should come from STFC fans themselves (UAF bleating outside the ground could be disastrous)

In the early 1980's the Anti Nazi League held a leafleting session outside Chelsea's Stamford Bridge against the NF, who had a presence at the Club. They didn't do any prep work or seek to contact supporters groups beforehand and just turned up. They ended up being surrounded by fans, had to get police protection and were escorted rapidly back to Fulham Broadway Station and put on trains.

It was a lesson in how not to stage a anti-fascist intervention at football.

Anonymous said...

"Fascist not Racist"? That more or less the line Mussolini used before deporting Italian Jews to the death camps in 1943. Perhaps that's why Di Canio's autobio describes Mussolini as "a very principled, ethical individual"?

Anonymous said...

"Fascist not Racist"?

This myth that Italian fascism was somehow softer and cuddlier than its German counterpart needs to be confronted.

Modern Italian fascists like Di Canio regard the "Italian Social Republic" (RSI), which existed in Central and Northern Italy between 1943 and 1945, as their model society. This was one of the most vicious and racist of any of the fascist regimes. It had racist laws than persecuted Jews and its paramilitary units such as DECIMA MAS and the Black Brigades were modelled on the Nazi SS and were as bad.

"Fino all'ultimo bandito"