Football: Di Canio considers Swindon future

Former West Ham forward Paolo Di Canio is considering his future as manager of Swindon after he claimed the League One club's star player was sold without his agreement.

Di Canio, who had spells with Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio and Celtic during his controversial playing career, reacted furiously when he discovered highly-rated winger Matt Ritchie had been sold to promotion rivals Bournemouth on transfer deadline day.

The 44-year-old Italian, who famously served a long suspension for shoving over referee Paul Alcock while playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 1998, is now debating whether to quit Swindon in response to Ritchie's £500,000 sale.

"It is with great regret that I issue this statement but, unfortunately, the events of the last few days have left me with no alternative other than to consider my position and explain the reasons why," Di Canio said in a statement on Friday.

"We were assured that Matt Ritchie was going nowhere and money would be made available for the squad to be strengthened. Within an hour I received a phone call from Matt Ritchie telling me that the club had agreed to sell him and he was in the process of agreeing personal terms.

"I regard this as a clear breach of my contract with the club and, moreover, a clear attempt to undermine my position not withstanding the success we have achieved in the last 18 months. Matt Ritchie was sold behind my back.

"I am forced to consider my future as I don't know how I can continue to work in this environment."

Ritchie's departure came after weeks of financial uncertainty for Swindon, who have debts of over £9 million and only avoided administration by announcing a takeover subject to Football League approval on Wednesday.

In January, Di Canio, who led Swindon to promotion from League Two as champions last season, offered to give the club £30,000 of his own money to keep several loan signings.

But days later owner Andrew Black put the club up for sale and on transfer deadline day Di Canio saw moves for three players fall through because the Football League wouldn't clear the deals.

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