PAOLO Di Canio has called for Swindon Town fans to pack out the County Ground this weekend in an effort to show the club off to potential new owners.
Seven interested parties are believed to have discussed the possibility of buying up a large proportion of majority shareholder Andrew Black’s 98 per cent stake in the Robins, and Di Canio wants supporters to create an atmosphere for the visit of Shrewsbury which will help convince the prospective buyers to invest in Town.
The Italian was in an optimistic mood at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, where he reacted to the news that the Swindon board would consider putting the club in administration should new investment not be sought in the immediate future.
Di Canio stressed that the confirmation Black is looking to shift his controlling interest in the Robins is a step forward for everyone at SN1, following an uncertain period during which the Town boss publicly stated he was unsure why further funds were not being freed up in pursuit of back-to-back promotions.
And now he is keen to prove to all those eyeing up Swindon as a possible investment opportunity that their money would be well spent at the County Ground.
“We did something that is amazing, so I want to say the best way is to come in numbers on Saturday and follow the team and try to win the game and celebrate, and try and give more and more chance and persuade even more of the people who showed interest that this club deserves a stable future,” he said.
“There is a big opportunity, with 9,000 or 10,000 people in League One, to invest in the future like a new stadium if we go to the Championship.
“There are many opportunities, obviously the fans worry because they don’t know exactly what is going on, but now we have a more clear picture because the owner decided to sell this club.
“It is a good step, and you can either take it in a bad way or a positive way.
“I take it in a positive way because it is a clear situation.
“We will see if we can get something important for the future, but up until then they have to show their passion in the last year and a half.
“We can keep going and work hard with our ethic and big professionalism and inner motivation and get results, so altogether we can make something special.
“I can say publicly there are a few people with a strong interest, but I can’t promise anything. I can’t say yes.
“If we think an owner of this club has three years plan, and after one and a half he decides to stop everything, but there are a group of people who have interest in taking this club, it is already positive.
“I can only work and do my best with my players to respect the people and be loyal to our professionalism.
“It can be possible in football to think about when you used play eight hours in a row in the park without money, you never used to want to stop play.
“Why distract yourself?
“If we win Saturday we are close to the top, so I will claim that natural way to behave and wait and see what is going on.
“We respect the thousands of people who come and watch the game full of expectation because they have already invested money. We have to work, even double because it would be fantastic in this situation.”
Di Canio did not wish to divulge the identities of those parties he know are interested in making a financial commitment to the club, but he did say they have a passion for football.
“At the moment I have heard something, but not completely because the people interested in the club want to know all the numbers, and also we want to be sure the people that want to take this club are good people otherwise this doesn’t mean anything,” he said.
“They are positive people with good history, and are people that have football in them and football fans.This is good because they are not only businessmen but have interest in football and passion to take a bigger club than Swindon with honesty and big history, even though Swindon have big history.
“I don’t want to say nothing at this moment.”