Training ground row led Di Canio to Sunderland exit

Paolo Di Canio was sacked as Sunderland Head Coach after a row on the training ground with a number of the club’s senior players, the Metro has reported.

Di Canio was dismissed after only five games of the new season and 13 in charge of the Black Cats in total, ensuring Sunderland’s Premier League status at the end of last season and then embarking on an overhaul of the squad over the summer. But a poor start to the campaign that has delivered one point from a possible 25 compounded the argument, with Sunderland announcing late on Sunday night that the Italian had left the club.

Following Sunderland’s 3-0 defeat to West Brom on Saturday, Di Canio lambasted his players at the training ground on Sunday but the players responded in kind, with the newspaper claiming Di Canio was told by several senior figures that they did not want to play under his management anymore. When Sunderland owner Ellis Short was told of the incident and the words of the players, he felt he had to end Di Canio’s tenure at the club.

Coach and former player Kevin Ball takes charge of the first team for the Capital One Cup match against Peterborough on Tuesday as Sunderland seek a third manager inside the calendar year. Roberto Di Matteo is the favourite for the post, while Gus Poyet, Steve McClaren and Ally McCoist are also thought to be in contention.

Di Canio previously managed Swindon, gaining promotion from League Two, and had a playing career that took in Milan, Juventus, Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham and Charlton, among others.

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