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SWINDON TOWN: Di Canio committed to cause after meeting new chairman
PAOLO Di Canio has moved to ease fans’ worries that he could follow former chairman Jeremy Wray out of Swindon Town.
The enigmatic Italian spoke to the local media yesterday for the first time since Wray was replaced by Sir William Patey in the County Ground boardroom at the request of majority shareholder Andrew Black.
He revealed that a meeting with Patey on Saturday had convinced him that he would still be given the same support his friend and ex-colleague Wray had provided him with during the 16 months the pair worked together at SN1, and he told Robins supporters he was not about to jump ship.
He said: “I can only tell you that I met the chairman after the game on Saturday and the words that he said to me are not just positive, more.
“I was more than happy to hear some words - I don’t want to say what - but after we spent an hour together even if I was angry from the game I was happy thinking about what he said to me about the future and about me.
“I can’t wait. We have to think that from now we can work for the future.”
In a statement released to the Advertiser just hours after Town officially announced the departure of Wray from the club last Monday, Di Canio spoke of his anxiety that the changes could spell an end to the plan he and the ex-chairman had formulated for the Robins.
However, yesterday the Swindon boss stressed that he has been assured that nothing but the personnel has been altered.
“I know everybody interprets the words in the way that they want but there are different lines,” he said. “Some people can take the lines that I am only loyal to Jeremy; I can be friends with Jeremy for the rest of my life.
“I am loyal because he is the man that gave me the job and as a sentimental person I have to recognise this for ever.
“But, if Russell (Backhouse, club director) remains and the plan didn’t change then the club is bigger than everybody.
“The new chairman committed completely and there is also the environment around me which is the club and the fans.
“With Jeremy I can go out for dinner every day for the rest of my life and say thanks but there is a job. I am loyal to Jeremy but I am loyal to the project he proposed to me on the first day.
“I will keep going but I wanted to be sure because, as a manager, when I read that the chairman who did very well left I didn’t know exactly for what reason.
“If Russell remains and the plan remains the same I can remain. Why not? Jeremy is not a chairman everywhere. I will thank him for the rest of my life but a job is a job.
“I said some words to make an alert, an alarm about what was going on. Why was the chairman leaving, forced in some way to go out?
“If I didn’t have the chance to speak with the board I had to think about making a statement otherwise people think. Then we waited to see the new board and the new chairman.”
n TOWN’S League Cup tie with Aston Villa at the Country Ground next Tuesday is now officially a sell-out after the few remaining tickets were snapped up yesterday.
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