Sunderland thank Di Canio for keeping them up... and admit fans are split

By Colin Young

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Sunderland owner Ellis Short has thanked Paolo Di Canio for saving Sunderland from relegation last season but admitted he paid the price for the club’s ‘terrible start’ to the new season.

The American billionaire is taking his time finding Di Canio’s replacement and will intensify the search after Saturday’s clash with Manchester United.

The owner, who sacked Di Canio a fortnight ago after the side took one point from the opening five games, concedes that opinion is split between Sunderland fans over Di Canio’s exit.

VIDEO Scroll down to watch Paolo Di Canio's infamous stand off with fans

Paolo Di Canio

Sacked: Paolo Di Canio (above) paid the price for a terrible start admits Sunderland owner Elis short (below)

Ellis Shor

In Saturday’s programme notes Short, who offered his ‘great thanks’ to the controversial Italian for keeping Sunderland up last season, knows the next appointment is a critical one for the club still stranded at the foot of the Barclays Premier League.

Short said: ‘Opinions are mixed amongst our fans over whether he should have been replaced. Sometimes the quest for stability can be interrupted by the absolute necessity of staying in the league. This is because the long-term aim becomes irrelevant if we aren’t at the top level.

‘We now have a very important decision to make. Our only consideration in making that decision is what is best for the club. In doing so, we feel the weight of the entire city and beyond, along with the history of this massive football club.

‘The appointment of a replacement head coach is our priority.’

Short said most of the speculation surrounding Di Canio’s successor is ‘wrong’.

 Kevin Ball

Hot seat: Caretaker manager Kevin Ball (above) and Gus Poyet (below) have been linked with job

Gus Poyet

So far Gus Poyet has led the betting, and made no secret of his desire to manage the club.

Caretaker manager Kevin Ball, who is in charge on Saturday, has also made his pitch for the job and is due to meet Short this week.

Former Stoke boss Tony Pulis, Manchester United’s ex-No 2 Rene Meulensteen, Alex McLeish and former Schalke boss George Rutten have also been linked with the vacancy.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Mind the gap

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Who the heck is George Rutten? Do you mean Ralf Rangnick?

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PLAYER POWER got rid of de canio, he should have been left to do his job,but given a few lessons in man management ie keep your thoughts about certain players private ..between you and the player....PLAYER POWER will relegate our club

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Spot on I feel sorry for Di Canio he never had a chance after those cry babies when to management this is were Mr Short has gone wrong

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This is an internal problem for the owner to sort out. Its his club. He is paying the bills. Somewhere in all this are the loyal fans who seem to suffer every season over and over again. It looks like relegation is on the cards even at this stage of the long season. Morale must be a factor. What is on the cards is the club may turn out to be like Wolves, Bolton etc.

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Ellis short is a joke for sacking Paulo

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Newcastle fans thank sunderland for making sure there is at least 1 club in a worse state than themselves

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Rubbish manager.

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There is not a manager out there with the passion and desire for the game like him, 4 up and 41 thumbs down should tell you !!

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Di Canio tried to instill a level of professionalism and discipline to a bunch of over rated players and they didn't like it! Should have given him more backing and time, player power should never win!

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Could not agree more I am sure he will be a top manager in time he put a lot of hours into the Sunderland job to be sacked though certain players that could not hack it and should of been them down the road, he did say this would take time but the cry babies got the better shame on them and Mr Short you made the wrong move I say get him back

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