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SWINDON TOWN: Wray hails PDC impact
FORMER Swindon Town chairman Jeremy Wray believes Paolo Di Canio leaves the club with ‘A-grades across his CV’ after he walked away from the County Ground yesterday.
Wray, who himself left the County Ground in October to be replaced by Sir William Patey, appointed the Italian in May 2011, and the pair oversaw promotion from League Two and a Wembley appearance in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in their first season together.
Di Canio led the Robins to within three points of the top of League One before his resignation yesterday due to broken promises centred around the sale of Matt Ritchie, and while Wray understands the reasons why he walked away, admitted he was disappointed to see an eventful spell in the club’s history come to an end.
“It’s an incredibly sad end to his time at the club, but I think he leaves with A-grades all the way across his CV,” he said.
“We set out with a three-year plan for two promotions, and he has very nearly completed that after only two years.
“Paolo preaches loyalty and trust and expects the same standards as what he gives out, and if he was not getting that or felt let down he would certainly think his position to be untenable, he has very high principles.
“He is not a man who does a 9-5 job, and I think the pressure of all of this would have got to him, although I hope it hasn’t gotten to him so much as to trouble his health.
“He will not have reached this decision lightly and it would have saddened him to think he hasn’t been able to see his job through. But he is a man of huge principles, and if he felt his position had become untenable then this was always going to be a possible outcome.”
Wray was proud to see the impact Di Canio had on both the club and the Town during his time in Wiltshire, and believes he has left a lasting impression at the County Ground.
“You only have to see the fans’ response from the last home game to see exactly how much they recognised what he has done for the club,” he said.
“His charisma and his passion is infectious, and the Town has been a happier place since he has been around there is no doubt.
“Everyone was very low after we were relegated, and when he came in as manager there were plenty who didn’t know what to expect, but he was able to convert 99 per cent of those people in no time at all.”
“It’s a sad end and I just hope everything gets sorted out as soon as possible with the takeover, and the right manager is brought in and sees the job through until the end.”