Paolo signs contract extension after powerless few weeks
After weeks of speculation, Paolo Di Canio has confirmed he’s in a position to agree terms with Jeremy Wray to sign a two year contract extension until June 2015. The Club can now concentrate on the plan for consolidation in League One, but the message is clear, one eye will always be kept on promotion, with a three year aim for reaching the Championship.
Paolo commented on the reason for delaying committing his long term future to Swindon; “I waited only to understand if there was the same plan and that should be the same guarantee for the fans. If today I sign a contract they [the fans] must be happy because it means the Board still have the same plan, the same desire and target for the next promotion.”
While both the board’s and Di Canio’s ambitions of Championship football for 2014/15 have always been linked, it’s clear the playing and transfer budgets for 2012/13 and beyond have long been the stumbling block in the negotiations to Paolo’s future contract situation.
“Paolo has been a spectacular success in his first year of Club Management. From the outset he has given assurance of his commitments to Swindon, as long as we had a shared goal of reaching the Championship within three years. Having agreed the budget for the upcoming season, the Board has every confidence that Paolo will deliver this goal within the period of his new contract.” – Chairman Jeremy Wray speaking on Paolo’s contract extension
Di Canio has already been heavily backed with higher costs to the playing budget in League Two than our competitors and were anticipated, requiring direct investment from Directors to cover player purchases and breaking the salary cap. The club has seen more squad rebuilding exercises than Wray would like to remember and with ‘seven or eight’ expected to arrive this summer – no mention this includes loans – and further forays in January, Swindon are an agent’s dream recycling players.
The Board – publicly – always wanted to retain Di Canio and why not. Jeremy Wray has staked an awful lot on backing his manager – Clarke, Tehoue, touchline dismissals and the rest, so they’ve certainly taken their time to agree to Di Canio’s plan and undoubtedly parting – perhaps reluctantly – with further capital to realise the Italian’s ‘desire’.
It’s a surprise it has taken this long. As Di Canio says, three weeks of silence after singing ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ is hardly the best way to dismiss endless speculation and rumour, but clearly the fault and delay was never his as he “didn’t have the power to change things”.
“I couldn’t work before today. I had this plan in my head a few players, including one we’ve lost already because Lee Holmes has signed for Preston, but we have many options anyway so it is obvious that it we could have him, but it is not important because in England there are many many good players.
It is difficult to say the numbers but approximately I would have seven or eight players because I think this is the number to guarantee to me a good start to the season and see where we can stay in December. Then with the club, like last year, if we are close to the play-offs they can help me if they want to try to have the final push to win the league in the way we won last year.” – Paolo Di Canio speaking to BBC Wiltshire
Things seemed positive only a month ago. In a question posed in the Q&A in the Port Vale programme asking how quickly will you and Paolo begin to look at the current playing squad and potential targets for next season, Jeremy Wray commented; “Work has already started in earnest and targets have been identified. Paolo knows where he wants to strengthen the squad and he has targeted players in those areas. We will pursue those so that the squad is in better shape for pre-season. In that respect, we have learned a lot from last summer.”
However, we now understand that Di Canio has had his hands tied for weeks, unable to venture out to sign the seven or eight (let’s take that as an ‘at least’) until the Board agreed to ‘his plan’. Instead Paolo’s been concentrating on our Legaue One opponents and potential new signings, which probably means sifting his way through several hundred emails and scouting reports foisted upon him every day.
At least it appears the only signing we’ve lost out on is Lee Holmes, which as Paolo said himself is not ‘loss’, with existing options available, more on the radar and further comforted by Alex’s article advising him that Holmes doesn’t entirely fit Swindon’s current or alternative systems.
In the end Paolo ‘get’s what he wants’, as the Board has eventually signed up to him and his plan.
It’s certain players will need to depart for Di Canio to make the new signings he wants. Medhi Kerrouche, Lukas Magera and Mattia Lanzano will most likely depart, perhaps even Alessandro Cibocchi, Raffa De Vita, Joe Devera or Jon Smith could make way to free up wages for a higher calibre of player to play in League One and beyond.
At least now we’re settled and can move forward. So hold onto your hats, the (re)building starts today as the momentum is towards another busy summer at the County Ground and perhaps another promotion.