Swindon Town FC should be embarrassed – Di Canio is a symbol of modern fascism

The figure head of a reputable club?

After a torrid season (relegated 41 points off 46 games with -22 goal difference) Swindon Town FC have put the icing on the cake by appointing a fascist (in his own words) as a manager. Paolo Di Canio is an ex-Italian footballer with well documented fascist views and an admiration for Mussolini.

Di Canio, in his autobiography, praised Mussolini as “basically a very principled, ethical individual” who was “deeply misunderstood”. He has the word “Dux”, the Latin equivalent of “Duce”, tattooed on his arm. In our fight to remove far-right politics out of league football this is an unwelcome step in the wrong direction for Swindon.

I do not need to write about the well documented atrocities that happened under Mussolini’s rule. The routine use of executions, torture and oppression has left a lasting legacy in Italy and beyond. For a club to think that they can separate themselves off from such a history is both naïve and insensitive.

The GMB Unions cutting of any financial link with the club is clear condemnation of the two-year long contract awarded to Di Canio.  Andy Newman, the GMB’s Swindon branch secretary, said: ‘We have decided to end our sponsorship deal with Swindon Town, we will not be renewing our agreement with them. Because we are a trade union we could not be seen to have a financial relationship with a club that has fascist manager. We have no choice. It’s unfortunate but that’s the way it is.’

This move is welcome as it highlights the unacceptable nature of Di Canio’s appointment whilst hitting the club in the one place that the board cares about, the wallet.

This is why I am calling on all Swindon Town fans to boycott all matches between now and Di Canio’s inevitable dismissal. The only thing a clubs board will listen to is falling gate sales.  It is not acceptable for a club to appoint someone with such despicable views. The message has to come from the supporters. Sack him for the reputation of the club.

I believe that the clubs decision to appoint Di Canio directly contradicts their club’s charter which states, “Swindon Town FC will not tolerate sexual or racially based harassment or other discriminatory behaviour, whether physical or verbal, and will work to ensure such action is met with appropriate action”. They have essentially managed to give tacit institutional support to discriminatory behaviour. This cannot be accepted.


Filed under Far-right politics, Football, History, Politics, Sport

8 responses to “Swindon Town FC should be embarrassed – Di Canio is a symbol of modern fascism

  1. Pingback: Boycotting Sunderland FC is the only appropriate and moral response to their recent installation of a fascist manager | Hynd's Blog

  2. Pingback: Boycotting Sunderland FC is the only appropriate and moral response to their recent installation of a fascist manager | socialjusticefirst

  3. pj rebbeck

    One of the worst post’s from a ‘swindon fan’ I have seen in years to slate a man that has made every fan feel part of last season and then you to wright that absolute disgrace you can boycott the games by your self because you sir are not a fan of swindon.


  4. Lee

    Di Canio’s dismissal isn’t inevitable at all. He has done the opposite of “hitting the board where it hurts”, getting us two long cup runs which have got us incredible amounts of money, and season ticket sales despite being up £100 per ST are higher than ever. The GMB’s sponsorship was minuscule-so minuscule that I and nearly all other Swindon fans had no idea they were sponsoring us till they decide to pull it. And most importantly, he has got results, so as of yesterday he signed a 3 year contract. Pretty
    Sure his sacking isn’t inevitable.
    Tell me: why in your blog do you say we have to “remove far right views out football” rather than “extremist” views? Far left views are just as bad, no?


    • ‘Extremist views’ would have been better wording, although I am not sure all “extreme views” are inherently bad.

      I would not deny for a second the Di Canio has done incredible things for the clubs, not only financially but also in terms of moral.

      I think STFC have paid a price for this success. Can they live up to their non-discrimination commitment with a fascist manager? I think not.


  5. Steve

    We’re not taking this lying down – see http://swindontommy.wordpress.com/.

    Could you please pass this on. And any other help/advice would be much appreciated.



  6. I agree entirely with what you say.

    What, I wonder, is the Football League’s view?


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