Jim Lyon – Are certain political views acceptable in League One but not the Premier League?

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
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When are we happy with the idea of someone being fascist and when are we not?

It seems it is acceptable just as long as you don’t intend to manage a Premier League football team.

Paolo Di Canio has been involved in football in this country for approaching 20 years and we have all been well aware that there was a ‘colourful’ side to his character.

We have seen images of his supposed Nazi – or Roman - salute to Lazio fans, we have heard him describe himself as a fascist and we could read in his autobiography of his sympathies towards Benito Mussolini.

And none of this emerged in last week.

So why have people suddenly got themselves so worked up about it?

Why was it tolerable while he was manager of Swindon Town but suddenly unacceptable if he is manager of Sunderland?

It is probably because none of us really believe Di Canio has Nazi tendencies.

He is passionate, some may say attention seeking, and because he is prone to mood swings he does and says things that he would have done in moments of clarity. Like push over referees.

Mad as a bag of badgers? Quite probably.

Strong political beliefs? Maybe.

Abhorrent racist beliefs? Almost certainly not.

It makes a good story, though.