In the past two weeks, former Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has been quite vocal in expressing his criticism about the players who he managed while he was at the club. Now, however, Sunderland Football Club have threatened legal action against Di Canio, stating “it is particularly disappointing to read such comments when there are legal obligations in place to ensure such behavior does not occur.”

Here’s what Di Canio has said during the past two weeks that has gotten him into trouble:

“I don’t like people who, when they speak to you, don’t look into your eyes. He [John O’Shea] should say sorry to some of his team-mates for the many times he came into my office to say something unfavorable about them. This is the same person that also came to me when I first took over and said things about [Martin] O’Neill.

“Those two players [Lee Cattermole and Phil Bardsley] were rotten. The most unprofessional players I ever worked with. What Bardsley has done in the last year speaks volumes. Photos of him lying on the floor in a casino covered by £50 notes and laughing at the team losing on the opening day, that’s public. It’s no surprise these players were kicked out of my plans. The reason Sunderland stayed up at the end of last season was because Cattermole was injured and Bardsley played very little.

“I don’t like people fooling around when we’re having a serious discussion about strategy. I don’t like people [i.e. striker Steven Fletcher] who laugh when they keep missing the goal in training or miss a tackle that leads to conceding a goal.”

A statement by Sunderland Football Club read, “Sunderland AFC would like to express its’ 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.”

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