Newly installed Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio told a packed conference that he “pinky swears” not to be a bad fascist anymore, at least not in the workplace.
The Italian, barmier than all the barm cakes in Barking, then proceeded to flutter his eyelashes in the manner of a cartoon little girl, rocking back and forth with his hands behind his back, clutching a lollipop.
Although he promised not to get all fascist up in everyone’s faces during working hours, Di Canio stated his intention to continue dabbling in fascism as a side project and hinted at a possible collaboration with AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis.
He emoted: “At Swindon, I was only a little bit fascist and as [a] consequence we win many games.
“The challenge at Sunderland will be to not be fascist at all while I am working, and to only promote the mass mobilization of the master race in my own time.
“Now I will speak only of football.”
When Di Canio was asked what he meant by “master race”, Black Cats chief executive Margaret Byrne grabbed the mic and launched into an astonishing rant in which she labelled the assorted press “a right pack of quegs”.
She roared: “To accuse him now, as some have done, of being partial to a bit of Mussolini is insulting not only to him but to the integrity of this soccer franchise.
“Anyone who has met Paolo and spoken with him personally, as we did in depth before making this appointment, will know that he is an honest man, a man of principle and a driven, determined and passionate individual. Very, very, very passionate. But then that’s Italians for you, isn’t it?
“It is disappointing that some people are trying to turn the appointment of a head coach into a political circus.”
When Byrne was asked what she meant by “that’s Italians for you, isn’t it?”, she reiterated: “You know – they’re passionate.”
She then winked coquettishly as the assembled throngs showered her in flash photography and adoration. Mostly flash photography.
Does the Di Canio fascism really matter? Shouldn’t we aspire to a world where the Jews, the Mexicans and the fascists can all live together in perfect harmony? Have your say in the comments section below…