paolo-di-canio 2540604bAll praise the Premier League Sky gods! After last season’s charisma-free campaign, the Lord on High as heard our prayers for a more bountiful year and blessed us with Ian Holloway, Joe Kinnear and Jose Mourinho. Which means even if the football is shit, journalists across the land can still prepare to gorge on a quote banquet. Hail the holy trinity! The special one, the foul-mouthed one, and the comedy-accent one.

And in all the excitement, another headline-making machine at the helm of a Premier League club was almost forgotten just because he arrived at the party a little earlier than the others.

Thankfully, Paulo Di Canio reminded us all of his presence this month by doing what he does best – being slightly unhinged.

Apparently he’s implemented a kind of “Biggest Loser” fining system for Sunderland players who have piled on the pounds over the post-season period. Basically, anyone who comes back 2kg overweight will pay for it – literally.
“Obviously the players have a programme to follow so that they are ready when pre-season begins,” said the former Swindon boss.

“When we start, we will start not that heavy, but there will still be a great deal to do and they have to be ready. Everyone who comes back with more than 2kg over what their weight should be, we’re going to fine them. We test them before they go so everyone knows how they finished the season.”

Thankfully Andy Reid isn’t at the club any more or he would have been bankrupt.

“I can imagine 2kg, because you can run, swim and play tennis as well as having a bit of food or drink — so you can keep a handle on the situation,” he added.
“You can accept 2kg because after a few days back sweating in five-a-sides that will soon go. But 5 or 6kg? That is not acceptable.”

Now we know Di Canio has denied all those fascism rumours, but could this be his first step towards creating a kind of Sunderland-based super race? Next season he’ll demand “blond-haired, blue-eyed players” only. After that it’ll be German lessons.

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