SUNDERLAND are considering taking legal action against former head coach Paolo Di Canio.
The Italian was outspoken in his criticism of the Black Cats in a series of interviews over the weekend, following his sacking as Sunderland boss last September.
Di Canio blasted Sunderland players Phil Bardsley, Lee Cattermole and captain John O’Shea, while also blaming ex-director of football Roberto Di Fanti for a disastrous spell in charge at the Stadium of Light which saw him win just two of 12 games in charge.
Sunderland were careful to avoid a public slanging match with Di Canio when they agreed a settlement with the former West Ham striker, following his dismissal.
But the club have been angered by Di Canio’s disparaging comments and are now contemplating whether to take legal action over their former employee.
A statement released today said: “Sunderland AFC would like to express it’s disappointment in relation to the disparaging comments made recently by Paolo Di Canio, regarding the club and its players.
“The club is immensely proud of its players for the dignified and restrained manner in which they have conducted themselves publicly since Mr Di Canio’s departure and it is particularly disappointing to read such comments when there are legal obligations in place to ensure such behaviour does not occur.
“The club is now considering its position with its legal representatives.
“Having reached a cup final for the first time in 22 years, whilst also enjoying a run of only one loss in 12 games, we want to focus on what is a positive time for the football club and we would hope it is possible to draw a line under this matter quickly and that there will be no repetition.
“Neither the club, head coach Gus Poyet nor the players will be making any further comment on the situation.
“We are looking forward, not back and are focusing on the vital games we have ahead of us.”