BBC: New Sunderland boss Di Canio was ‘respected football figure’ while at Swindon Town

NO ANSWER ... Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio.
NO ANSWER ... Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio.
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THE BBC has confirmed it did not employ Paolo Di Canio, although the new Sunderland manager did write six columns for the BBC Sport website.

Di Canio’s appointment at Barclays Premier League side Sunderland has been controversial as he stated in a 2005 interview with an Italian news agency to being “a fascist, but not a racist”.

Today, Di Canio refused to answer questions on the subject in his first press conference on Wearside.

The column, in which Di Canio was billed as “one of football’s most controversial and colourful characters” was written by the former Swindon manager between August 2012 and last month.

Di Canio’s political views were well-publicised when the BBC asked him to write the columns but the multi-platform broadcaster said he did not receive payment for them.

A BBC spokesperson said: “In his role as manager of Swindon Town, Paolo Di Canio was one of the most well known and respected football figures outside the Premier League and it was in this capacity that he was used as a columnist for the BBC Sport website.

“He did not receive a fee for the columns.”